NHS Trusts in Wales could save at least £9million per year by updating inefficient and outdated energy systems, according to data released today to mark NHS Sustainable Health and Care Week (25 – 29 June).
At a time when NHS budgets are under pressure, the missed savings are enough to fund around 287 nursing jobs across Wales, which could help to meet significant and increasing demands for NHS services.
The figures, released by Centrica Business Solutions, are part of a wider report that examines the potential impact of distributed energy solutions on job creation, economic growth and productivity.
Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “Our NHS is an incredible healthcare system and a source of national pride – but it’s also under intense pressure to reduce costs while delivering enhanced services. Energy has a huge role to play in that.
“Energy could – and should – be a force for good for the NHS, helping to create financial efficiencies and unlock opportunities to make improvements in patient care. However, it needs more support and funding to modernise its hospital estates.
“Energy technology has come a long way in the past few decades and the systems used by most hospitals across Britain can benefit from the latest energy efficient solutions and equipment. A new approach to energy could save the NHS across Britain £160m per year – and that’s just a conservative estimate. The savings could be double this.”
David Melding, the Assembly Member for South Wales Central said: “Transforming buildings to be warmer, greener and more efficient offers substantial economic, social and health benefits. As this research from Centrica indicates, there is a real opportunity for large energy users to improve energy performance, bring down bills and, in the case of vital frontline services like our NHS, ensure budgets can be spent on frontline services rather than energy costs.”
Nationally, NHS acute trusts spend around £500m a year on energy. Centrica Business Solutions believes the utilisation of distributed energy solutions, a technical term for a suite of products and services providing energy efficiency, monitoring and on-site generation, can help the healthcare sector to take control of their energy and turn it into an opportunity.
Distributed Energy: Powering Britain’s Economic Performance
Centrica Business Solution’s report analysed key sectors, including healthcare, industry (including steel, chemicals, glassmaking and ceramics) and hospitality & leisure. Combined, these sectors account for more than a quarter of the UK’s GVA, and almost a third of UK employment.
The report found that if just half of these sectors invested in energy saving solutions, they could reduce annual energy costs by £980m.
To read the report in full, visit www.centrica.com/economicfuture.
Centrica commissioned FTI Consulting to help develop the quantitative analysis for the Distributed Energy: Powering Britain’s Economic Performance report.
Its methodology contained four stages:
- Identifying typical users
- Determining direct benefits
- Determining indirect and induced benefits using economic multipliers
- Creating total figures
Regional estimates are based on non-domestic demand at a local authority level*, apportioned to the total £130m savings opportunity.
*Source: BEIS national electricity consumption statistics (2016)
For further detail, visit www.centrica.com/economicfuture.
Nursing jobs calculation
Average nurse base salary is £31,409 (NHS Staff Earnings Estimate, December 2017)
£9,000,000 / £31,409 = 287
Centrica plc is an international energy and services company. Our purpose is to provide energy and services to satisfy the changing needs of our customers. We’ve been serving customers for over 200 years and aim to be at the centre of their daily lives - central to helping them run their world.
Our two global divisions, Centrica Consumer and Centrica Business, supply energy and energy-related services to over 26 million customer accounts in the UK, Ireland and North America, through strong brands such as British Gas, Direct Energy and Bord Gáis Energy. They do this with the support of 12,000 engineers and technicians.
We’re also developing new and innovative products, offers and services for customers through our five growth businesses: Energy Supply, Services, Connected Home, Distributed Energy & Power (DE&P), and Energy Marketing & Trading. Our Connected Home business has developed the Hive product range, including the smart thermostat, which allows customers to control their energy usage from their phone, while DE&P, under the Centrica Business Solutions name, offers integrated energy solutions for commercial and industrial customers, providing customers with end-to-end services – from insight to optimisation and solutions.
Innovation underpins everything we do, which is why we’re investing £100m in Centrica Innovations, a new venture to identify, incubate and accelerate new technologies and innovations that can help provide the right offers, products and services for our customers.
 Lord Carter of Coles, ‘Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations’, an independent report for the NHS, February 2016.