Government cash to pay for new energy-efficiency projects at NHS trusts
With the NHS still 4% behind its target to slash carbon emissions, the Government has this week announced it is making £50m worth of capital available to fund innovative energy-saving interventions.
The current NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy calls for a 10% reduction in the health service’s carbon footprint by 2015, based on a 2008 baseline. However, even though trusts have begun to address the problem, research shows they are still 4.6% off the target.
Now the Department of Health is providing capital for trusts to invest in reducing energy use, cutting carbon emissions and improving resilience to climate change.
With one of the largest estates in Europe, covering 6,886 hectares of land and 28 million square metres of floor space, the NHS has an annual energy bill of around £583m.
Projects that are successful in securing funds will help the department in the development of best practice guidance and evidence for further use across the NHS and to demonstrate what is being achieved in pursuit of the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy
This fund will give hospitals the go-ahead for a variety of projects that will help them reduce the energy they use and, as a result, the amount they pay. Prioritising the fund at a four to five-year return on investment means the NHS will be able to re-invest savings of up to £12.5m a year on frontline care.
Trusts will be able to bid for the cash starting now, with the deadline for expressions of interest on 28 February and evaluations due in March. A second stage of the programme will start in May, with winners announced the following month.
David Flory, deputy NHS chief executive, said: “The fund is for new and innovative projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS by reducing energy usage, carbon emissions and improving resilience to climate change.
“Projects that are successful in securing funds will help the department in the development of best practice guidance and evidence for further use across the NHS and to demonstrate what is being achieved in pursuit of the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy.”
For more information on the fund, click here.