Royal Devon and Exeter Trust’s £7m investment in new energy technology

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) is reportedly set to reduce its annual energy costs by £800,000 a year, following a £7 million investment in sustainable energy measures. The project, delivered by Centrica Business Solutions, will see new energy technology installed at five sites across Exeter, helping the Trust cut its energy costs by 17 per cent. Design and construction, set for completion by late April 2020, includes the installation of a 1.5 MW CHP unit at Wonford Hospital, and roof-mounted solar panels at Wonford and Heavitree Hospitals and the Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre.

Wonford and Heavitree Hospitals will also benefit from new LED light fittings and improvements to air-conditioning systems, while Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre will receive new energy-efficient boilers. Centrica says that once complete, the combination of measures will reduce annual CO2 emissions by over 2,200 tonnes.

Robert Steele, the Trust’s Deputy Director of Strategic Capital Planning, said: “As a major hospital providing round-the-clock services, we consume large amounts of energy, so we’re committed to a range of measures to help us continually improve energy efficiency. This initiative with Centrica is a major part of our approach to reduce the amount of money we spend on energy and utilities, releasing more funds to invest in frontline patient care and other vital functions. At the same time, reducing our energy consumption helps reduce our environmental impact.”

Liz O'Driscoll, Programme director at Exeter City Futures, a local community interest company working with the RD&E and other local organisations ‘for a healthier and more sustainable Exeter’, said: “We are thrilled to see such a huge commitment from one of our board member organisations to increase its energy efficiency, transition to greener energy, and significantly cut its carbon emissions.”

Tony Orton, head of Business Development – Healthcare Solutions, at Centrica Business Solutions, added: “The project will deliver a huge saving for the Trust, and contribute significantly towards its carbon reduction targets. Our analysis shows that if this approach was replicated across just half of the NHS estate it would save more than £130 m annually.”