NHS Sustainability Day: 3 ways to save energy in the healthcare sector

NHS Sustainability Day: 3 ways to save energy in the healthcare sector

It’s NHS Sustainability Day on 21 March, an opportunity to share best practice and shed a light on resource efficiency across healthcare estates.

Tackling energy use is a great place to start. We’ve seen first-hand how energy efficiency measures can not only help to meet carbon targets, but deliver significant financial returns that can be re-directed into essential patient care.

We’re marking NHS Sustainability Day with a look at three ways healthcare sites can make real savings across their estate:

Energy audits:

Large sites such as hospitals can hide many areas of energy wastage – so an energy audit of your estate is a great first starting point. It’s a holistic examination of a building to identify energy efficiency opportunities, and can consider building characteristics, weather data, and the typical usage of the building.

Energy audits vary in detail; from a simple utility data review, to in-depth site visits and comprehensive analysis of financial concerns and return on investment.

Building management systems:

Intelligent building controls enhance the day-to-day running of premises, while also improving energy efficiency. The result is not only up to 40% lower energy bills, but lower maintenance costs and an improved comfort level for patients and staff.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital (CRH) is one site that is gradually replacing its ageing BMS with the latest technology to help meet energy reduction targets of 5%. The new controls oversee essential hospital functions that include heating, ventilation and domestic hot water, and BGES has also upgraded the control panels to a more user-friendly format.

“The easy-to-use panels really help because it’s a challenge to reduce energy consumption year-on-year when the hospital is constantly expanding and upgrading,” says Steven Bacon, Energy Manager at CRH. “We are set a target 5% reduction figure by the Trust, so implementing the Delta BMS technology has obviously helped as facilities such as boilers are only operational when demand is required and heating systems can be turned down or off when areas are not occupied.”

Royal United Hospitals in Bath has also recently upgraded its BMS, with help from BGES. Estates Manager Brian Gubb estimates that payback will be as little as 18 months due to the impressive energy savings being delivered. As a result, the facility plans to roll out the solution to more areas in the near future.

LED Lighting and Controls:

LED lighting upgrades are often considered the ‘low hanging fruit’ of energy efficiency, and the recently published NHS long term plan cites LED technology as key to achieving its carbon cutting target of a third of 2007 levels by 2020. The reasons are clear – LED lighting upgrades deliver fast payback (typically 2-5 years), and new lamps can be retrofitted into existing fittings to avoid disruption and cut costs.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital has also recently taken its first steps into lighting control, to further improve efficiency across its estate. Intelligent lighting controls can boost savings to up to 75%, as well as delivering more comfortable light quality for patients and staff.

For advice and information on identifying energy efficiency opportunities across your healthcare portfolio, get in touch.