Renewables powering 10 per cent of NHS estate

NHS Property Services has signed a contract to source 100 per cent of its electricity demand from renewable sources.

Under new energy deals signed by the health service’s Property Services arm, with Inspired Energy, more than 11 per cent of the NHS's estate will be switched to 100 per cent renewable electricity this Spring.

NHS Property Services is responsible for more than 3,500 buildings of NHS estate, collectively totalling more than 34 million square feet. The organisation claims the switch will reduce its annual direct (Scope 1) and power-related (Scope 2) carbon emissions by more than 40,000 tonnes. The use of renewable electricity won’t increase costs to either tenants or NHS Property Services itself.

The first contract will see British Gas Business provide the organisation with 100 per cent clean electricity, while the second will involve Corona supplying it with natural gas.

The NHS is currently responsible for around five per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint. Last  September, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said the NHS would accelerate its efforts to tackle climate change with a series of coordinated measures to reduce its carbon output under the banner of the ‘For a greener NHS’ campaign.

In addition to switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity by April, NHS Property Services is also committing £1.5 million in 2019-20 towards an LED upgrade programme.

Martin Steele, NHSPS’s chief operating officer, said: “Switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity for all our buildings is a landmark moment in efforts to transform our NHS portfolio into a sustainable estate. We take our responsibility towards reducing the environmental impact of our buildings very seriously. This move will also help us to improve the wellbeing of our people and patients whilst reducing NHS operating and maintenance costs.”

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Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.

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