The Carbon and Energy Fund, with the backing and support of IHEEM and HefmA, will later this year launch a new guide to effective and proven carbon and energysaving technologies suitable for use by NHS hospitals.
Against the backdrop of the Lord Carter Productivity and Efficiency Agenda, the Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF), with the support and endorsement of IHEEM and HefmA, has put together what it dubs ‘an essential piece of literature for all Trusts’ – A Standards Guide: Carbon and Energy Saving for the Model Hospital. Here David Mackey, director of the Carbon and Energy Fund – which funds, facilitates, and project manages complex energy infrastructure upgrades for the NHS and wider public sector – explains the background to the compilation of, and the key elements within, this key report.
According to IHEEM’s President, Peter Sellars, ‘the economic benefits of investing in energy-related cost-saving schemes within the NHS are well known and understood’. The former director and head of Profession/Policy at NHS Estates & Facilities England, who also recently served as national lead for the Lord Carter EFM Productivity & Efficiency Programme, and is a Trustee of the CEF, adds: “The NHS is already benefiting through the significant carbon and cost reductions that have been delivered by our profession over the last 10-15 years, but, as evidence suggests, there is still a long way to go. To support this next phase of investment, the new CEF publication, A Standards Guide: Carbon and Energy Saving for the Model Hospital, has been developed for the NHS. This document will provide a valuable source of information to estates professionals about both proven and new energy technologies that are suitable for including in future Trust-wide energy strategies.”
Meanwhile, Paul Fenton, national chair of the Health Estates & Facilities Management Association (HefmA), said: “The NHS has had a proven track record in achieving energy savings and carbon reductions over many years, using both innovative and tried and tested initiatives. The challenge now is to encompass the learning and the success it has brought into a consolidated form through the development of this Best Practice Energy Guidance document for the benefit of the NHS and the estates professionals that work within it. The document will provide a concise source of information on new and proven energy initiatives, and HefmA endorses its use as essential guidance for any Trust writing its energy strategy and planning for the future.”
Confronting difficult challenges
Since Lord Carter delivered his report and recommendations in February 2016 outlining opportunities for efficiency savings and environmental benefits within the healthcare system, the NHS, social care, and public health system has had to confront some difficult challenges to ensure that future investments made have the best possible outcomes for current and future generations. Without doubt, one of the biggest challenges facing all NHS Trusts is energy – whether it be energy infrastructure, energy generation, energy usage, or carbon emissions.
In full appreciation of these difficult challenges, IHEEM and HefmA have partnered with the CEF, which will later this year publish an essential piece of guidance literature for all Trusts – A Standards Guide: Carbon and Energy Saving for the Model Hospital. This document, which will be launched within HEJ in the early autumn, and will be widely available thereafter, has had input from all of CEF’s specialist team and suppliers. Covering every aspect of the energy infrastructure upgrade process, the guide will clearly demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of each energy technology, and the suitability of the various technologies for particular situations.
Structured around a Model Hospital
Structured around a ‘Model Hospital’, the guide has been created with exclusive data garnered from more than 40 schemes commissioned by NHS Trusts that are already in commission, under construction, or in the initial stages of sign-up. Independent of all suppliers and pricing, the guide offers detailed information on the broad spectrum of technologies available to use within today’s health estate. All of the information featured has been tested and verified on ‘live’ schemes ranging in value from £1 million to £32 million – not ‘lab tested’, or derived from a sales brochure.
As well as examining technologies available now, the guide also looks at those which will be available in the future, and at recent innovations that are starting to become financially viable. Each technology will have its own section featuring a description of the technology; how it can benefit a Trust, what to consider in order to achieve parity across Trusts, and technology instruction on calculating savings. It will demonstrate what Trusts should expect, and how the technologies they choose to adopt can be employed along with other technologies in real situations. By way of balance, the new guide will include candid explanation of any pitfalls. For example, renewable energy will be considered, with fuel type, asking questions such as: ‘With biomass fuel do you opt for pellets or chips?’; ‘Is there suitable on-site storage space for the fuel?’, and ‘What if the space for storage is near a cancer ward; is there an increased risk of infection?’
Technical and other considerations
The guide will also consider the technology from a technical point of view, and provide guidance on the how the healthcare estates profession can go about creating a project that may include: procurement – via a framework or ‘going it alone’; the various types of contract available, and what works best for what scenario; where the finance may come from and sources of capital available to a Trust; what a finance director needs to know – ITFF (Independent Trust Financing Facility) vs. Off Balance Sheet finance, and the business case procedure and NHS Improvement.
Once the scheme is commissioned, the guide explains how to ‘future-proof’ a Trust’s infrastructure, and why some schemes operate at 92% efficiency when the NHS average for CHP is 57% (The difference could be easily in excess of £200,000 per annum). It also covers what happens year on year with monitoring and verification, what works, and who should be responsible.
Looking to the future, the guide investigates innovations that may well be more easily available in the near future, including thermal and battery storage; capacity markets; heat pumps, and, district heating schemes. Many Trusts are being approached as anchor loads for district heating schemes, and indeed the Government has committed to provide £300 m in grants and soft loans for these projects. What should a Trust consider?
The final key theme reflected within the guide will be how, through leadership, the healthcare estates profession and the country’s acute NHS hospitals can look outwardly for the benefit of the NHS in the way that the profession interacts with the surrounding community – for example via private wire or district heating schemes, and/or creating, or being part of, a ‘virtual power station’; the list of potential opportunities and combinations is endless. There is a very real prospect of NHS Trusts becoming an integral part of the UK’s energy mix in the future, rather than just a disparate group of standalone energy-users. The collective capabilities of NHS Trusts together should, in future, allow the service to become a leader, rather than a follower, in energy-efficient infrastructure, ultimately providing the optimal opportunity to achieve best value for money.
Opportunity for Trusts to attend workshops this month
Ahead of our launch of A Standards Guide: Carbon and Energy Saving for the Model Hospital, the Countess of Chester Hospital, the CEF Framework, and IHEEM, are offering all NHS Trusts the opportunity to apply for our annual carbon and energy-saving workshops. Six selected Trusts will be offered free feasibility works, energy and financial modelling, and bespoke, in-depth knowledge-based workshops with specialists from four leading energy companies. The workshops will take place at this month’s Hospital Innovations Conference and Exhibition, which is being held at Olympia, London from 25-26 April 2017. Four Trusts took part in the pilot process last October, and two have already used the knowledge gained to progress to cash-releasing schemes. To express an interest; or find out more, please email EOI@carbonandenergyfund.net
As well as being a recognised leader within the sector, and with a proven track record of success with over 40 schemes, the CEF also plays a major role as part of the new NHS Alliance – a values-led movement of people and organisations committed to building a sustainable, community-based health service. Launched on 1 December 2016, the Alliance embraces a wide range of professional sectors, and is focused on health inequalities and the practice of health creation. Neither professional body nor trade union, it is open-minded, people-centred, and solutions-focused.
New video viewable online
Our new video – created in partnership with the new NHS Alliance and ITN Productions, and introduced by newsreader and television presenter, Natasha Kaplinsky – highlights the challenges and benefits of replacing inefficient and outdated energy systems, and demonstrates how the CEF currently delivers savings of on average of £1 m per NHS Trust, and ‘makes the equivalent of every fourth hospital carbon-free’. To view the video, and find out more, visit www.carbonandenergyfund.net
David Mackey is responsible for project origination and sourcing the finance for the Carbon and Energy Fund. Before joining the CEF, he was a director of MITIE Group, where he delivered a variety of energy services projects in both the private and public sectors, including district heating, biomass, CHP, and energy efficiency. He graduated with an MBA from Cass Business School in 2007.
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