Green switch will help save Gloucestershire hospitals £0.5 million a year!

Savings of more than £500,000 each year will soon be enjoyed at hospitals in Gloucestershire when new cost-cutting sustainability measures begin to take effect.

Cheltenham General is the latest to benefit from Vital Energi’s investment and know how across a number of innovative energy projects, including efficient high tech temperature control systems across both sites.

The project is being partially funded by a £960,000 grant from the Department of Health with the remainder of capital provided by Vital Energi to be repaid over the contract term.

This approach allows the trust to achieve huge savings, without using any of its own capital therefore making the savings from year one.

More than 600 light bulbs have been replaced by energy saving alternatives at the hospitals. And other new high tech measures should help decrease wastage and consumption on site.

Utility costs are increasing by around 79 per cent annually, with water, gas and electricity costing the trust, on average £5 million a year.

The total £3.1 million project will achieve guaranteed savings of £577,000 a year, or a 40 per cent reduction on current energy bills and operating costs.

Carbon emissions will also be cut by 1,789 tonnes a year, a reduction of 30 per cent. Both the energy and carbon savings will be guaranteed by Vital Energi under an 18 year energy performance contract.

Ted Rogers, Associate Director Capital and Development at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Providing the best patient care possible is something we are strongly committed to, so reducing energy costs and investing those savings into front line clinical services is hugely important for us.

“This energy scheme will allow the hospital to reduce energy usage, lower carbon emissions and create a more resilient energy and heating infrastructure and those benefits will be felt for the next 18 years.”

The project was procured through the Carbon and Energy Fund. It required the project to move quickly to meet the trust’s scheduled deadlines.

It is hoped the whole process, from initial tender to project completion, will take less than 12 months to implement.

The NHS has already adopted a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent by 2015.

By introducing energy efficiency measures such as combined heat and power systems, LED lighting, heating, ventilation and control systems and biomass boilers, GHG emissions could be quickly cut by 25 per cent.

Ian Whitelock, Joint Managing Director of Vital Energi, said: “At Vital we recognise that installing equipment such as CHP and biomass is only one element of reducing energy costs and carbon emissions in the NHS.

“Using less energy more efficiently is crucial and should be the initial step in developing a complete solution, and at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we have done just that.

“We have formed a close partnership with the trust which will deliver a sustainable energy solution, including comprehensive energy efficiency measures and demand reduction strategies.

“This solution will continue to deliver benefits to the Trust for the next 18 years making it another important addition to the UK’s sustainable energy infrastructure.”

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