Cheltenham Energy Centre opens
Friday 28th November marks the official opening of the new Energy Centre at Cheltenham General Hospital. Our Chair Professor Clair Chilvers and Non-Executive Director Maria Bond will be joined by representatives from Vital Energi who are the appointed supplier for the project.
The opening of the centre will make a step-change reduction of the Trust’s carbon footprint. The principal component of the new installation is a new combined heat and power unit (CHP). Carbon emissions are projected to be cut by 1,789 tonnes a year, a reduction of 30 per cent.
CHP is a great technology that uses a gas fuelled engine to produce electricity, while heat is collected from the hot exhaust gases of the engine to help heat the hospital. This is a far more efficient way of producing electricity than normal power stations and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Ashley Malin, Project Development Director for Vital Energi explained, “All Trusts know that there are potential savings and carbon reductions to be made across hospital estates. With the support of Vital Energi and frameworks such as the Carbon & Energy Fund (CEF) hospitals like Cheltenham General can realise these savings quickly and they are guaranteed by Vital for the agreement duration.
“Overall our work with the Trust will save the hospital £10.4m over the life of the project, making this a great example of what is typically achievable across the healthcare sector.”
The government wants to promote this concept, and as a result, our Trust has benefitted from a financial incentive. There are also plans to extend the initiative to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, with work due to be carried out in 2017.
The total £3.1 million project will achieve guaranteed savings of £169,000 a year, or a 40 per cent reduction on current energy bills and operating costs. Nearly £1m of this was funded directly by the Department of Health. The remainder is being funded through an energy performance contract between ourselves and Vital Energi, who will be guaranteeing the savings that the Trust expects to make.
Chair Professor Clair Chilvers, said:
“As an organisation, we are very much aware of sustainability issues and are committed to reducing our environmental impact. Our sustainability strategy ensures that we are consistently addressing energy consumption across both our hospitals, looking at everything from light bulbs through to the design of new buildings.
“I am delighted to see the Energy centre open and operational. The good news is that reducing energy costs allows us to reinvest savings into front line services and patient care.”