Energys Group urges NHS to take action now and not wait for increased government funds

Kevin Cox explains why the NHS and other public bodies must make energy efficiency savings to release more funds for over-stretched ‘front-line’ services.

While uncertainty about Brexit dominates the political landscape, causing equal amounts of anxiety and expectation in the public at large, other aspects of public life continue to loom large. In particular is the perennial strain on the NHS budget and stress on its staff and patients.

In its recent survey findings of respondents in England, released in September 2017, The Kings Fund found that despite the “significant challenges faced by the NHS, it continues to enjoy unwavering support among the public which endures across the generations.”

Indeed 77% of the public believes the NHS should be maintained in its current form; around 90% of people support the founding principles of the NHS and 66% are willing to pay more of their own taxes to fund the NHS, underlining growing support among the public for tax rises to increase NHS funding.

“We’re not here to comment on the political aspects of the findings of The King’s Fund and IPSOS Mori survey or to call for increased taxation to support the NHS,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director of Energys Group. “However, we are calling on the NHS facilities managers, energy managers and Trust chiefs to take the lead in making their estates more energy efficient, and return the savings to where there is the most need – patient care.

“There is no argument from us that staff at the NHS do crucial work, whether on the front-line caring for, transporting and supporting patients directly, or in the critical, unseen and unheralded back-room services, such as administration, maintenance, HR and finance.”

The recently released third annual Impact Report released by the independent NHS Sustainability Campaign highlights the work that is being done by individual trusts to develop low-carbon measures and make considerable savings. For example the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust expects to save around £1.2m each year thanks to a carbon management plan.

Kevin Cox applauds the work being done by Trusts to develop low-carbon measures: “But there is more to be done to ensure that those who work in this 24-hour, 365 days a year service, are not paying the price for their care, in poor working conditions, inefficient buildings and at increased risk to their own health and wellbeing. The NHS needs to look after itself in order that it can look after the public.”

Energys Group will be launching a year-long campaign to help the NHS achieve estate-wide cost savings that will have a significant effect on productivity, staff wellbeing and ultimately, enable savings that will benefit patient care.

Energy Group specialises in energy saving solutions for hospitals and healthcare.  Please drop us a line if you’d like to chat about how we can reduce energy costs for you.

Energy saving technologies for colleges: Why efficient heat and light make for sustainable education too

Right now, the Conservatives are launching reviews into the costs and expenses of the UK university system.

This makes it a very apt moment to remind ourselves how the most energy efficient technologies can save vast amounts of cash across our education hierarchies; cash that if correctly leveraged could potentially help lower the burdens of funding education.

Sensing these benefits, but also the overarching sustainability and CSR wins offered by efficient kit, Public Sector Build Journal (PSBJ) has recently examined the positives of Energys work in London’s BSIX Sixth Form College.

What’s the story, and does it shine a light on wider options for enabling efficiency across our teaching estates nationally?

Top line savings

PSBJ begins by highlighting the key numbers; LED lighting and dynamic boiler controls supplied by Energys at the East London College are predicted to deliver some £25,000 of annual energy savings.

This figure of course does not mention CO2 benefits; the boiler optimisation work alone will offer 28.66 tonnes per year of carbon savings, great for the environment but also for the college’s ongoing carbon reduction work.

In anyone’s book that £25,000 represents serious cash; the figure is a telling reminder that within an environment where UK teaching remains fundamentally pressured when it comes to cash, it’s simple to achieve both financial and CO2 wins that can offer up money to support teaching in other ways.

Bob Herring, Premises Manager of BSIX College, spoke regarding the economics and the positives of the work carried out by Energys.

“We realised that with the latest boiler control and LED lighting systems we could achieve a dramatic reduction in our energy costs,” he comments.

“We wanted to achieve a greener, more carbon efficient college. Thanks to the collaboration with Energys that has been possible; and all in a mere three weeks of work that had very minimal impact on the day to day activities of the school.”

More handy cash on hand

In terms of lighting, return on investment for this project is set at four years, while the return period for the total investment will be around two years. Remember, after this, the installation starts making money for the college.

“We’re delighted with the work that has taken place at BSIX.” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Clearly, this is a sixth form college and not a university. But here’s an example of an energy efficiency project that’s offering up £25,000 per year to an educational facility and delivering massive CO2 wins as well.

“It seems to me that in the wider debate over tuition fees, we might perhaps want to be thinking about where and why the overall costs of teaching, in all its forms, can be massively assisted by energy efficient tech.

“And surely we ought to be teaching our children this lesson too; that energy efficiency not only helps our planet; it can help fund our children’s growth and learning.”

Energy Group specialises in energy saving technologies for schools and colleges.  Please drop us a line if you’d like to chat about how we can reduce energy costs at your education establishment.

The Energys February 2018 horizon scan; top insights and analysis on low carbon business

UK electricity consumption falls

According to The Guardian, the UK was the only country in the EU to reduce its electricity consumption last year, with power use growing or stable across the rest of the bloc’s 28 member states.

Simon Evans, Policy Editor at Analysts CarbonBrief, told the broadsheet: “This is one of the least reported and most significant stories in the UK power sector.

“Since 2005, the UK has saved the equivalent of two-and-a-half Hinkley Point Cs, a trend that started several years before the financial crisis.”

There is the sense that energy efficiency is contributing to the wins, both in terms of industrial and corporate efficiency, plus energy savings in the home.

“The 2017 fall is large and is at odds with other European countries, and puts the UK clearly on the road to lower electricity consumption,” said Dave Jones, Carbon and Power Analyst at Sandbag.

Overall, electricity demand has fallen by 9% in the UK in the past seven years, the sharpest decline in the EU. Meanwhile, Poland chalked up the biggest rise, at 9% over the same period.

The Guardian’s takeaway; Britain’s appetite for power has been waning for more than a decade as industrial activity declines and businesses and households opt for more energy efficient lighting and appliances.

At Energys, we’re delighted by the trend. “The numbers prove that the UK is well and truly on the energy efficient pathway,” comments Kevin Cox.

“It’s a story that deserves far wider coverage; as a country we are doing extremely well, we should be congratulated and the news should be widely shared.”

Energy sector cleans up

In what’s otherwise a strikingly positive month, The Energyst reports transport has overtaken the energy supply sector as the largest contributor of UK greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions.

Statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show falling coal generation in the power sector is driving the broader energy sector’s decarbonisation.

Against 1990 baseline levels, the UK has decarbonised by 36% and reduced total greenhouse gas emissions by 41%. The energy sector has reduced emissions since 1990 by 57%, despite a 9% rise in final energy demand over that period. The transport sector has decreased emissions by 2% in 26 years.

Crucially, emissions from business, responsible for 17% of overall emissions in 2016, declined by 5% year on year and have dropped 29% since 1990. It’s key that much of that reduction is attributable to energy efficiency, and some to the decline of British heavy industry.

“What’s vital now is to replace the waning energy-intensive UK industries with low carbon, disruptive alternatives,” comments Cox.

“Our industry and economy is changing. That’s an opportunity to drive new types of energy smart business.”

The Government has also recently said the UK remains on track to meet the second Carbon Budget.

Energy-efficient London

Finally this month, Sadiq Khan has announced the latest phase of the Energy for Londoners initiative, detailing plans to invest £34m in a range of new services and programmes designed to boost energy efficiency and improve access to clean power across the capital.

“My Energy for Londoners scheme aims to help those most in need with grants for new boilers, windows and home insulation to help cut fuel bills. I’m also working on a number of ambitious projects to generate more local clean energy to power our homes, businesses and communities,” said Khan.

The Mayor’s Office said new projects included plans for a new whole house ‘eco refurbishments’ initiative, which would pilot extensive green upgrades; a £10m commercial boiler scrappage scheme which will offer capital grants to businesses switching to more efficient heating systems; and an ongoing plan to deliver 1GW of solar capacity across the capital by 2030, including a £4.5m programme to install solar on Transport for London (TfL) buildings.

At Energys, we’re delighted to report on such positive overall UK energy trends this February. Let’s hope the good news keeps coming throughout 2018.

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