Government announces £46m energy efficiency fund for LED lighting

Cash will enable NHS trusts to implement energy-saving lighting upgrades

The fund will enable hospitals to upgrade lighting to LED

The Government has announced a £46m moneypot to enable NHS trusts to improve and expand the use of LED lighting across their estates.

To be made available through Public Dividend Capital, the cash will help to save the NHS money on its energy bills as well as providing a better environment for patients, staff and visitors.

The money was announced during the IHEEM Annual Conference in Manchester earlier this month by NHS Improvement.

The deadline for applications to the fund is 30 November.

Estate managers across the NHS have a huge challenge in striking a fine balance of patient care coupled with operational efficiency

“The NHS has a significant opportunity to deliver annual revenue efficiency savings from energy efficiency,” said a spokesman.

“It spends over £540m annually on energy, and interventions like this offer the opportunity, not only to reduce this spend, but also to improve the environment for patients and staff, and to reduce related carbon emissions.

“In many cases, investment in infrastructure will also reduce backlog maintenance risk for trusts.

“With investment in energy-efficiency projects, this could drop by as much as 10% over the next 36 months as it would enable capital investment to flow into spend-to-save programmes.”

He added: “NHS Improvement has considered the range of energy conservation measures and identified energy-efficient LED lighting as the most-effective solution to deliver savings within the required timescales.”

Benefits of LED lighting include:

  • A 5%–20% reduction in electricity use
  • Potential carbon savings of up to 45%
  • Reduced ongoing maintenance costs
  • Improved patient and staff experience from a better quality of lighting

Return on investment in LED lighting projects in both healthcare buildings and the wider public and private sectors is proven.

For example, an investment on LED lighting of £96,000 at King’s College Hospital has been seen a return in 4.8 years and lifetime savings of £262,000 are projected.

“Trusts do tell us they are keen to implement LED lighting projects, but requests for financial support are often not prioritised in local capital allocation processes,” said the NHS Improvement spokesman.

All NHS trusts are eligible to apply for the funding and allocation will be prioritised for those demonstrating the greatest potential and need, he added.

The announcement has been widely welcomed by energy companies.

This fund will help to reduce carbon and energy bills as well as deliver a cut to maintenance costs. This frees up much-needed funds which can be put directly back into frontline services

Kevin Cox, managing director at Energys Group, told BBH : “Estate managers across the NHS have a huge challenge in striking a fine balance of patient care coupled with operational efficiency.

“The announcement of this additional funding for NHS trusts across England is great news.

“This fund will help to reduce carbon and energy bills as well as deliver a cut to maintenance costs. This frees up much-needed funds which can be put directly back into frontline services.

“We strongly urge NHS trusts to act quickly and secure this additional funding before the deadline and reap the multiple benefits.”

As timescales for applying for, and using the fund, are tight, he urged trusts to take advantage of existing LED lighting framework agreements which give access to pre-qualified organisations.

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