Carbon reductions see £300m in NHS savings

A million tonnes less carbon and £300m in savings have been generated by hospitals that have adopted energy efficiency measures, according to a green energy firm.

Vital Energi, which installs and manages energy solutions to 14 hospitals and seven NHS Trusts and Health, reported the significant milestone to mark NHS Sustainability Day (23 March).

Project development director Ashley Main said the savings could help fund frontline services, adding:

“The fact that just 14 hospitals can generate over £300m in savings and one million tonnes of carbon reduction is a great indicator of how much potential there is in the NHS, with regards to revolutionising the way it generates and uses its energy.”

The company has worked on the projects for the NHS for the last three years, delivering various energy conservation measures and energy generating solutions such as combined heat and power or biomass systems.

The projects, procured through the Carbon and Energy Fund, require the energy firm to guarantee minimum finan- cial savings and carbon reductions for the duration of the contracts, which range from 15 to 25 years.

One of the first hospitals to take advantage of the scheme was the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where a 1.2 MW combined heat and power engine was installed along with lighting upgrades and other maintenance services. This was followed up with similar projects at the Trust’s Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals, with 87,000 tonnes of CO2 reductions expected over the 15-year contract.

Under a similar contract, the Cheltenham General Hospital expects its carbon emissions to be cut by 40 per cent (equalling 40,000 tonnes) over the course of the 18-year agreement with the energy company.