Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust invests £7m in new energy technology

Trust is set to reduce its energy costs by £800,000 a year, following investment in sustainable energy measures

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust is working with Centrica Business Solutions to improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust is investing £7m as part of efforts to reduce its carbon footprint in line with tough new government targets.

Just a matter of weeks after Prime Minister, Theresa May, committed to 'net zero' greenhouse gases across all public services, including the NHS, by 2050; the trust has joined forces with Centrica Business Solutions to install state-of-the-art energy technology at five of its sites.

The move is expected to reduce energy costs by 17%.

Design and construction is set to be completed by the end of April 2020 and the project includes the installation of a new 1.5MW combined heat and power unit that will generate power onsite at Wonford Hospital, as well as roof-mounted solar panels at Wonford and Heavitree Hospitals and at the Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre in Exeter.

As a major hospital providing round-the-clock services, we consume large amounts of energy so we’re committed to a range of measures to help us continually improve energy efficiency

Wonford and Heavitree Hospitals will also benefit from new LED light fittings and improvements to the air conditioning systems, while Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre will profit from the installation of new energy-efficient boilers.

Once complete, it will reduce annual emissions by more than 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent to taking more than 1,450 cars off the road. <.p>

The work is part of the trust’s wider sustainability programme to help it lower energy costs and become a greener organisation with a smaller carbon footprint.

Robert Steele, the trust’s deputy director of strategic capital planning, said: “As a major hospital providing round-the-clock services, we consume large amounts of energy so we’re committed to a range of measures to help us continually improve energy efficiency.

The project includes the installation of a new 1.5MW combined heat and power unit at Wonford Hospital

“This initiative with Centrica is a major part of our approach to reduce the amount of money we spend on energy and utilities, releasing more funds to invest in frontline patient care and other vital functions.

“At the same time, reducing our energy consumption helps reduce our environmental impact.”

Our analysis shows that if this approach was replicated across just half of the NHS estate it would save more than £130m a year, money that can be reinvested in frontline services

Liz O'Driscoll, programme director at Exeter City Futures, a local community interest company working with the trust and other local organisations for a healthier and more-sustainable Exeter, added: “We are thrilled to see such a huge commitment from one of our board member organisations to increase its energy efficiency, transition to greener energy, and significantly cut its carbon emissions.

“This is a demonstration of the positive action that is now being taken across the city as key Exeter organisations come together around shared goals; working towards a truly-sustainable Exeter."

And Tony Orton, head of business development for healthcare solutions at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The energy infrastructure improvement project will deliver a huge saving for the trust, as well as contributing significantly towards its carbon reduction targets.

“Our analysis shows that if this approach was replicated across just half of the NHS estate it would save more than £130m a year, money that can be reinvested in frontline services.”

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