A report called Securing Healthy Returns, which analyses the financial value of key sustainability measures in the NHS, has declared that combined heat and power (CHP) provides the biggest energy saving opportunity. This can amount to £26.4 million per year which is enough to fund the salaries of more than 1,200 newly qualified registered nurses.
The report, published by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) for NHS England and Public Health England, analyses 35 proven measures that it says could achieve a total £400m of cost savings and reduce carbon emissions by 1 million tonnes every year by 2020. These interventions were selected because they are supported by robust data and evidence to enable analysis and scaling.
Of the 18 energy saving measures covered in the report, CHP provides the highest annual potential cost savings (£26.4m), followed by staff energy awareness and behaviour change (£21.5m); high efficiency lighting (£7.2m); and reducing temperature set points by 1 degree celsius (£6.2m).
The SDU states that CHP also has the potential to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 3,750 tonnes per year, which equates to the environmental benefit of removing 1,250 cars from the road or the carbon dioxide that would be offset by a 3,550 acres of forest (more than three times the size of Sherwood Forest). Many NHS Trusts are already achieving significant cost and carbon savings by utilising CHP, which is highly efficient because it captures the heat wasted in conventional power generation and uses it on-site for heating and cooling.
One of the early adopters was the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which partnered with CHP specialist ENER-G to introduce the technology to its Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital.
The trust’s transition to low carbon heat and power, together with the wider refurbishment of its electricity, heating and cooling infrastructure, is achieving significant energy and operational cost savings – guaranteed by ENER-G, which funded the capital programme over a 15-year contract period. East Cheshire NHS Trust is also demonstrating the cost and carbon saving potential of CHP, which is at the heart of a recent upgrade of its energy infrastructure across two hospitals. Utilising the the Carbon and Energy Fund framework, the Trust has partnered with ENER-G to deliver CHP and associated energy efficiency improvements, which will generate guaranteed cost savings of £2.5 million over 15 years.
Chris Marsland, Technical Director for ENER-G Cogen International, said: “Due to the 24/7 heat demand of acute hospitals, CHP can operate at efficiencies in excess of 85% – more than double that of other coal and gas fired generation sources the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s half-hourly modelling shows that it displaces. As such, the cost and carbon savings really stack up and more hospitals should specify CHP to provide assured cost and carbon savings long into the next decade and beyond.”
The SDU has released an online tool in tandem with the report to assist trust’s in implementing sustainability improvements. Since 2007, SDU has supported NHS organisations to save in excess of £190m each year on energy, waste, water and fuel fuel.
ENER-G is a European market leader in small scale CHP and has completed more than 50 CHP-led integrated energy management projects across the healthcare sector. It is an approved supplier to the NHS Shared Business Services Carbon and Energy Fund.
Further information: www.energ-group.com
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”