Virtus Consult shares knowledge after NHS energy efficiency project

Knowledge Transfer Partnership saves one NHS trust 18% of its energy costs

Virtus Consult has completed a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Oxford Brookes University to refine and promote a holistic methodology for enhancing energy performance in existing NHS buildings.

The partnership followed a major energy efficiency improvement and carbon reduction project undertaken for an NHS trust, which saved the client 18% of its energy costs through guaranteed savings - equivalent to £900,000 a year and with a payback of less than five years.

Developing an innovative approach to energy management for one NHS trust is one thing, proving the results can be replicated with others is something else altogether

For this project to deliver such exceptional results, Virtus Consult developed a unique five-stage process, which it believes would offer similar savings for other NHS trusts seeking to deliver the requirements of the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy, while powering, heating and lighting ageing buildings.

Given its expertise in sustainable construction, Oxford Brookes University was chosen to support Virtus Consult’s ambition to validate, refine and package its unique methodology for energy management, which could then be promoted as a consultancy product.

Jan Ponsford, director at Virtus Consult, said: “Developing an innovative approach to energy management for one NHS trust is one thing, proving the results can be replicated with others is something else altogether.

“The associate we recruited as part of the KTP programme first undertook a huge amount of market research to establish the key drivers for trusts to hit their carbon emissions targets and 5% cost reduction targets as mandated by the NHS.

“Our associate, in the role of energy performance programme analyst, soon discovered that an impediment to the successful implementation of our consultancy product was the method by which public bodies could engage our services, with accepted frameworks very much the preferred route.”

As a result of the work undertaken on the KTP project, Virtus Consult was appointed to three different frameworks: LHC Energy Efficiency and Refurbishment Framework; LGSS Construction Consultancy Services Framework; Bloom Framework (formerly NEPRO)

We now have a validated methodology that can help organisations across the public and private sectors, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions through demand and supply side improvements

Ponsford said: “The impact of our position on these frameworks was almost immediate, with Virtus Consult securing energy sustainability projects for three new NHS organisations, expected to deliver total annual savings in the region of £640,000.

“We now have a validated methodology that can help organisations across the public and private sectors, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions through demand and supply side improvements.”

The project validated the Virtus Consult methodology and the final grading from UK Innovate, the government agency tasked with driving science and technology innovations, assessed the project as ‘very good’.

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