For public sector organisations across the country, energy consumption is an important consideration as they look to reduce spend, free up funds, and minimise their environmental impact.
This is especially the case for the energy intensive NHS sector. With thousands of employees, patients and visitors to serve on a daily basis, and with many facilities open 24/7, NHS Trusts are naturally high energy users with significant energy bills.
Fortunately, energy intensive organisations make excellent candidates for a large number of energy efficiency measures, as Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust discovered after undertaking multiple energy efficiency projects with the help of Salix Finance.
The Trust is set to save an estimated £9.2 million* and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions after investing in a range of energy efficient technologies, across four hospital sites - North Devon District hospital, Holsworthy Community Hospital, South Molton Community Hospital and Bideford Community Hospital.
The new technologies are predicted to save the Trust over 2,000 tCO2e**, reduce its energy costs by more than £570,000 annually, and improve the hospital environment for staff, patients and visitors.
One of the projects involved the installation of a brand new 800kWe Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine at North Devon District Hospital to provide effective heat and electricity for the site. The new CHP engine, which generates over 4.4m kWh of electricity per year, will reduce the hospital’s need for electricity from the grid, subsequently cutting CRC payments.
Cold-water chilling compressors, pumps and controls for air handling units at the hospital were also replaced, saving 504,000kWh per year, while a thermal store was incorporated to provide a night time heat supply.
To minimise energy waste throughout the Trust, all four hospitals received upgrades to their BEMS, pumps and controls along with improvements to roof insulation, which was increased from 100 mm to 270 mm. North Devon District Hospital received a new chiller to replace an old inefficient one.
In addition, inefficient lighting was upgraded with more than 3000 fluorescent tubes being replaced with LED equivalents.
The energy efficient measures were made possible thanks to more than £2.8m worth of interest-free funding from Salix Finance - a not-for-profit, government-funded organisation which provides 100% interest-free loans to the public sector to improve its energy efficiency.
The trust also used their own capital to install solar PV panels on the roofs of the hospitals and biomass boilers at 3 of the sites.
As well as saving the Trust a significant amount of money and carbon, the upgrades have resulted in better control of indoor conditions for the comfort of patients and staff, with minimal disruption.
Kevin Ward, Deputy Head of Estates, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust: “This project has been a fantastic step forward for the Trust, helping us to lead the way in improving energy efficiency with significant energy and carbon savings.
“Aside from the financial and carbon savings resulting from the reduction in electricity usage, the improvements have brought with them a whole host of other benefits. The hospitals are warmer, brighter and more comfortable, and staff, patients and visitors alike have all welcomed the changes. We are grateful to Salix’s help and support throughout the project, which has been integral to its success.”
The Trust will repay the cost of the projects from the savings recouped from the reduced energy bills in under five years. Once the loan is repaid, the Trust will continue to benefit from the annual savings, releasing important funds to be used elsewhere.
Funding for the project was provided via Salix’s NHS programme. Since beginning work with the NHS, Salix has worked with 58 NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts funding over £58 million of projects. Salix continue to work strategically with new and existing NHS clients as they develop and deliver carbon reductions through their Sustainable Development Management Plans.
*Expected lifetime saving.
**Calculated using emissions factors published by government for carbon footprinting.