£50m ‘green fund’ to help NHS cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions

The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) and De Lage Landen (DLL) have announced a £50m funding alliance aimed at supporting NHS energy efficiency projects.

The NHS is one of the UK’s most energy-intensive organisations, spending more than £750m on energy costs each year.

To bring these costs down, and improve energy efficiency across the NHS estate, GIB and DLL are now working with trusts to increase adoption of green technologies.

This week, the two organisations announced a further £50m of funding for NHS energy efficiency measures, with both parties investing £25m.

The first project funded by the alliance will be at Queen’s Medical Centre, part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, where £7.5m is being invested to finance the installation of a suite of energy production and reduction measures. The project has been developed under the Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF) framework and will be delivered by the energy services company, Interserve.

As with previous NHS energy efficiency projects, the trusts and health boards that will benefit from the new funding will not need to find the capital upfront. The money saved by reducing their energy bills more than covers the cost of the repayments.

GIB estimates that energy efficiency measures across the UK could cut the NHS’s current £750m energy bill by up to 20%, saving £150m each year.

Investing in energy efficiency isn’t just about cost savings and environmental benefits. Investment in energy efficiency could also provide the NHS with more reliable and resilient systems that would significantly reduce costs and operating risks.

The NHS has already adopted a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2015.By introducing energy-efficiency measures today, such as combined heat and power (CHP), light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, enhanced heating and ventilation, smarter control systems as well as biomass boilers, greenhouse gas emissions could be cut quickly by up to 30%, with energy saving more than compensating for the costs of the updated technology.

Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of GIB, said: “As one of the country’s most energy intensive organisations, the NHS could save up to £150m each year by putting in place energy efficiency measures. That’s why GIB has committed to back a wave of projects to modernise and better equip NHS facilities and systems. Everything is tailored to the needs of the NHS.

“The project at Queen’s Medical Centre is expected to reduce the trust’s energy costs and save around 7,400 tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 3,300 cars off the road.”

Bill Stephenson, chief executive of DLL, added: “This initiative with GIB in the UK is fantastic news for our company and our global Clean Tech business unit. In today’s rapidly-changing world DLL sees innovation, like the development of energy efficient technology, as a fundamental factor to commercial success and a sustainable world. I am delighted that through our partner’s complementary indepth industry knowledge we can positively contribute to UK’s green economy.”

Government Business Secretary, Vince Cable, welcomed the funding. He said: “Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with business to give companies the confidence to invest, securing green jobs and a stronger UK economy.

“This latest project in Nottingham is part of Government’s continued investment to help the NHS transition to a more energy efficient working environment, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and saving the economy millions each year on reduced energy costs. Without our £3.8billion investment in the UK Green Investment Bank these projects would not have been possible.”

And Andrew Camina, hard FM compliance manager at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are committed to doing all we can to save energy and reduce our carbon emissions at our hospitals, which make up one of the biggest acute teaching trusts in the country. We are pleased to be working with partners to do all we can to reduce energy costs and emissions and seek to find ever more innovative ways of reducing energy use”