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Energy efficiency project guarantees multi-million pound savings for Nottingham University Hospitals


E.ON and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have announced a 15-year agreement to upgrade and manage the Queen’s Medical Centre’s (QMC) on-site power plant, as well as introduce an energy efficiency programme that will guarantee dramatic reductions in energy use and make guaranteed savings in the region of £2.8 million.

The project will see E.ON working with the hospital’s support services and construction partner, Interserve, to upgrade the QMC campus’s combined heat and power plant – which generates heat and hot water as well as electricity for use across the site – as well as install energy saving measures including boiler optimisation technology, low energy LED lighting and building energy management controls.

The improvements will be delivered through the NHS SBS Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF) procurement framework under an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) which means the investment in new technologies can be carried out with no upfront cost to the hospital and will be paid back through the savings which have been guaranteed by E.ON.

The energy saving and conservation measures are guaranteed to bring savings in the region of £2.8 million a year by reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) assistant head of estates Andrew Camina said: “At NUH we are committed to doing all we can to save energy and reduce our carbon emissions. We are delighted to be working with E.ON and Interserve to do what we can to reduce energy costs and emissions and look at more innovative ways of reducing energy use.”

Paul Baan, head of energy efficiency at E.ON Connecting Energies, said: “We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with NUH for nearly two decades and this new agreement is a much-welcomed vote of confidence in our abilities to work with NHS Trust management and to help them meet their business and financial objectives.

“Winning this large and complex contract means that we will not only be able to update E.ON’s long-standing involvement with NUH but we’ll also be installing new technologies to dramatically reduce energy costs and carbon emissions for the hospital.

“Across the country the NHS faces huge challenges in terms of budgets and Government-mandated environmental targets. No two hospital buildings are the same and the savings on offer will vary across different NHS operations but EPCs effectively offer an energy efficiency service which guarantees savings and a return on investment to Trusts across the country.”

The measures are expected to deliver carbon reduction of 16,000 tonnes and cost savings of £2.8 million a year across the Trust, based on current pricing levels. An EPC allows an organisation to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings without having to raise the upfront capital itself, instead paying back the initial investment through the cost savings guaranteed in the agreement.

The upgraded equipment, combined with the new energy saving measures, will help the QMC Trust comply with new EU environmental regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions and go towards nationwide NHS targets of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants generate useable heat and hot water at the same time as electricity. E.ON has owned and operated the CHP system at the hospital for more than 15 years. The existing plant generates 4.9MW of electricity from a single gas turbine and the waste heat recovery boiler produces 12 tonnes of steam per hour. This is used for heating, cooling (via absorption chillers) and equipment sterilisation. Standby power supplies come from the local electrical grid into which the plant can also export, and steam backup comes from other boilers.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest and busiest in England providing care to over 2.5 million residents of Nottingham and surrounding communities and specialist services to a further 3-4 million people from neighbouring counties. The Trust has three main sites with the QMC as the emergency care site.