Major carbon and cost savings for Shropshire hospital
A Shropshire hospital says it has reduced its electricity bill by a third, and substantially lowered its carbon footprint with the installation of solar panels and energy-efficient LED lighting.
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry has had 1,760 solar panels fitted, and upgraded all its lighting to LEDs.
It is estimated that the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH), Trust is now saving over £217,000 per year, and reducing its annual carbon emissions by over 809. Nick Huband, director of Estates and Facilities at RJAH, said: “It's massively important for us to be more sustainable and efficient. The target is to get to net zero; it's not insurmountable, although a big ask. It is ‘doable’, but there is significant capital investment required, and, more importantly, a different way of thinking.
“Solar panels are really important to this strategy – not just in terms of financial return, but the offset against the carbon tonnage is also huge. All the hospital’s external lighting, and all the internal ward and theatre lighting, has been replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting, resulting in a big fall in energy usage. We're expecting a £200,000 year reduction in costs on our energy costs.”
The RJAH was able to carry out the work thanks to Salix Finance, which provides Government funding to the public sector to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon, emissions, and lower energy bills. With Salix’s help, the Trust unlocked £1.2 million in funding for the project. The hospital – with an international reputation for orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal medicine – is now exploring adding two further rows of solar panels – which it estimates will reduce its annual energy bills by a further £65,000, installing more charging stations for electric car drivers, and planting trees to offset emissions.
Nick Huband said: “We couldn’t have done this without Salix. We've put ourselves forward unsuccessfully for NHS and European funding, and without Salix’s support this work wouldn't have happened. We’re looking at some more radical ideas like solar panels on our car park roof. The drive to reduce emissions is really well supported here, with substantial buy-in from our management and Board. It isn’t just about LED lighting and solar panels either. We have some green sites which, due to a number of restrictions, we can’t build on or sell, so we're looking at ways to offset our carbon by planting trees. We can then create walk routes through for patients and visitors to enjoy while we try to achieve zero carbon.”
Salix says it has now helped fund almost 19,000 projects to the tune of £1 billion – saving the public sector £203 million annually on its bills, with work undertaken across the UK via its platform reducing carbon emissions by almost 867,864 tonnes.