Schneider Electric collaborates with a leading healthcare institute to create and enhance the environment and level of service for patients.
- The project guaranteed more than £70,000 of gas and electricity savings in the first five months beyond completion.
- Existing building management systems were upgraded to one centralised system, supported by monitoring solutions.
- NHS hospital is predicted to receive a huge return of savings of £6.97 million over the next 20 years.
Hospitals are invariably the highest energy users by building type in the U.K. The National Health Service (NHS) has the largest estate in Europe and has increased its carbon footprint by 40 percent since 1990. Collectively, it is the largest public sector contributor to climate change and in England alone it produces more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
The number of people using the NHS is estimated to be around one million every 36 hours. In the face of this huge volume, government cuts, an ageing population, and an ageing estate, the NHS is under huge financial and operational pressure.
With the government’s introduction of carbon taxes alongside mandatory carbon reduction, NHS trusts have had to think outside the box in order to try and meet these targets, while at the same time making improvements to the estate, and freeing up funds for frontline services and patient care.
One particular trust is setting the example for the organization as a whole. It is widely recognized as an NHS leader in sustainable strategy, having invested £15 million that has already seen the hospital exceed its 2015 carbon reduction target. In partnership with Schneider Electric, the hospital has now implemented a complete reconfiguration of its infrastructure and energy management systems.
It is one of the capital’s largest and busiest hospitals, serving an inner city population of 700,000. Under a major multi-million initiative, it was tasked with modernizing the estate and driving efficiency to improve patient care.
The partnership with Schneider Electric resulted in a project designed to achieve and, where possible, exceed these goals. It consisted of an integrated refurbishment program to incorporate several hundred individual measures throughout the site. Key solutions included a new district heating system to significantly reduced energy output, plate heat exchangers to increase efficiency and upgraded thermal insulation of the steam main distribution system. In addition, significant improvements were made to all heating systems, along with the rollout of steam and electrical sub-metering, connecting all to a new automatic meter-reading system.
The existing building management system was also upgraded to one centralized system, supported with monitoring solutions. The internal energy team now has complete energy visualization, enabling users to see the real time status of the entire hospital’s energy infrastructure through a single interface. This allows the Hospital to employ accurate carbon sustainability reporting while also helping them proactively identify key areas for potential savings.
“The modern hospital environment is notoriously complex and the task here was by no means a simple one, considering the complex set of challenges and limited timescale,” says the finance director at the hospital. “As such, it was very important for us to take a partnering approach and to work with a supplier who not only has the knowledge of the segment, but also the expertise in associated legislation in order to deliver this holistic solution.”
Under the agreement, Schneider Electric took ownership of project risk, and provided consistent monitoring and verification of long-term performance. In addition, the team provided a comprehensive staff and sub-contractor competency development program, along with energy awareness campaigns.
The project commenced in 2013, with the Trust enjoying measurable gas savings of nearly £53,000 and electricity savings of more £20,000 in the first five months beyond completion. Extrapolated over a number of years, savings will be dramatic and will continue to be enjoyed beyond the completion of the contract.
As part of a conservative financial model over 20 years, supported with the performance guarantee from Schneider Electric, the hospital is predicted to see a huge return on its initial investment, delivering savings of £6.97 million over 20 years (net cash surplus) and liberating £3.1 million of budgeted capital from the estates backlog.
“Our differentiating factor, being both an energy and technology specialist, has been paramount in this,” said Barry Hurst, energy sustainability and service manager for U.K. and Ireland at Schneider Electric.
“Through the use of some of our most ground-breaking energy-efficient technologies and talented people, we were able to break down this complex brief to meet the multiple tasks of massively reducing financial expenditure, tackling the maintenance backlog and providing higher quality facilities. The outcome is vast cost savings and heightened corporate responsibility, ensuring a future-proof hospital and happier patients.”
By making energy greener and more efficient, Schneider Electric has not only helped the hospital improve its financial performance, it has improved the facility infrastructure to create a safe and reliable environment for patients and staff.
If similar measures were carried out across the entire NHS estate, Schneider Electric estimates that energy savings of more than £200 million could be made. Innovative sustainability strategies must be implemented today, in order to safeguard the NHS for tomorrow and beyond.