Carbon reduction: News in brief, plus dates for your diary

Read on for our round-up of the measures NHS trusts across the UK are taking to reduce their carbon footprint in line with tough government targets, and the opportunities available to boost NHS sustainability

Energy software brings £10k saving

SOUTH Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) has reduced its annual spend on power by £10,000 through use of energy management software. The trust has implemented software which has resulted in immediate power savings of more than 20% per PC since deployment. The software automatically turns of computers when they are not in use, and provides the trust with monitored power usage measurements. It has led to a power saving of 22.7% per PC, resulting in an annual unit energy saving of 55.5kWh. The total yearly energy saving is estimated to be 99,900kWh, which, with electricity rates fluctuating between 9.58p and 17.8p per kWh, will save the trust £10,000 in the first year alone, the equivalent to carbon savings of about 30 tonnes.

SEPT chief executive, Dr Patrick Geoghegan OBE, said: “This software has clearly shown SEPT can conserve natural resources as well as achieve considerable operational savings. The first phase of the project has given us an even clearer insight into our IT energy usage and we’re now looking for ways to build on these savings and extend our use to other areas and will allow the savings made to be put back into frontline care for our patients.”

Award for NHS Forest project

A PROJECT to create a green space at Falmouth Hospital in Cornwall has been shortlisted for the Good Corporate Citizenship category of the Health Service Journal Awards 2011. The NHS Forest project planted a tree for each hospital employee in a new garden that acts as a quiet space for patients, visitors and the local community. The garden has also been used by Penryn College as a green classroom to teach children about bio-diversity. Mark Summers, head of the low carbon programme at NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said: “It has been great to see how the project has brought local people, the community and the local school together. Our vision is to plant 10,000 trees in a three-year period.”

Steam traps boost energy savings

THE Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan is hoping to save more than £48,000 a year in fuel and maintenance costs following the installation of Thermal Energy International’s GEM venturi orifice steam traps. A total of 157 devices have been installed across the site providing the hospital with a projected payback in just under two years on steam savings, increased efficiency, failed traps, maintenance and Carbon Offset Value costs. Steam is used by the hospital for a wide range of services including heating and hot water heat exchangers, space heating, AHU batteries and humidification.

Prior to the installation, Thermal Energy International conducted a survey and found 2% of the traps had failed to open, allowing large amounts of steam to be wasted; 1% had failed and were partially open, allowing smaller amounts of steam to pass; and a further 2% had failed and closed, which was causing the condensate to back up and create wet steam, corrosion problems and water hammer. It was calculated that Wigan Infirmary was losing a more than 200,000 kWh per year from steam loss alone.

“Our first quarter calculations show a 16% decrease in fuel costs following the conversion to GEM”, said Mark Hogan, energy environmental manager in the estates and facilities department at the hospital. “Calculating the load using degree day analysis, which takes into consideration the warm weather, we are enjoying a 10% overall reduction of fuel usage.”

LED bedlamps to save £12k

FRIMLEY Park Hospital in Surrey is hoping to meet tough energy reduction targets with the installation of more than 400 LED bedhead lamps. A total of 458 XL4 lamps, manufactured by EDL and commissioned by RS Components, will be installed in inpatient areas and are expected to cut energy use by an estimated 111,335kWh every year – a reduction of 93%. This equates to a saving of around £12,000 a year. Most of the costs for the project are coming from Salix funding, which supports public sector carbon reduction work, with £6,000 being put in by Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The units are designed with an anti-bacterial finish and the articulated arm has been carefully modelled to repel dust. They are quick to install and will be wired into the nurse call system to allow remote dimming and control. Gillian Brown, the trust’s environment manage, said: “We have been able to agree to a significant investment in this area as we can see an absolute return in terms of the targets we have to meet going forward.” They will be installed by January.

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