Improving energy efficiency in UK hospitals is an important topic, given there are ever-increasing demands on health budgets. With the most extensive estate portfolio in Europe, the NHS has a lot of boiler and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) plant to maintain. Including private UK healthcare facilities as well as the NHS, the sector spends around £400 million on energy per year. Promoting energy efficient hospitals is an essential consideration for the sector – and fortunately, it’s an area of expertise for Hodgkinson Bennis.
Background to healthcare energy usage in the UK
Temperature regulation (both heating and cooling) and hot water account for around two-thirds of a typical UK hospital’s energy consumption. As outlined in a Carbon Trust report, many older hospitals were not designed with energy efficiency at the front of mind. And factoring in inefficiencies in water usage as well, hospitals have a great opportunity to save money on their utilities.
There are a number of options in improving energy efficiency and water usage in hospitals. It may entail refitting an entire system and installing modern equipment. It may be a question of better maintenance of existing plant and pipework. Whatever option is best for an individual facility, Hodgkinson Bennis can promote energy efficient hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Fit a new hospital boiler or HVAC system
Hodgkinson Bennis are experts at fitting and commissioning new plant in NHS and other hospitals with minimum disruption. We know that hospital boiler and HVAC systems are often site- and sector-specific. For instance, dealing with clinical waste incineration requires the expertise and initiative of a company like ours. Have a look at our case study of the new condenser unit we fitted at the Hillingdon Hospital incinerator plant for SRCL.
New equipment also extends to state-of-the-art thermostats and timer switches. These can pay for themselves very quickly through energy cost savings. For instance, we could fit a compensator, which is a form of control for heating systems that automatically regulates the heating temperature based on the weather, even with the changeable UK climate.
Redesign and maintain hospital hot water systems
A lot of older systems waste hot water through redundancies. To save water and energy, you might consider rationalising the pipework or installing point-of-use heaters. These save people having to run the water until it becomes hot. We can review your pipework design to make it more efficient. This might include reducing the length of pipes leading to hot water taps.
We can help to ensure that all the pipework in your system is reliable. We will make sure all joints and junctions are working correctly. We’ll correctly lag pipes to prevent heat loss and winter pipe bursts. This will ensure that heating and hot water are distributed effectively throughout your system.
Regularly service existing hospital boiler and HVAC plant
Once you’ve got an efficient boiler or HVAC system fitted, it’s essential to keep it regularly serviced and maintained. We can help by undertaking annual gas safety checks. In addition, we will as devise a servicing schedule to ensure that your system goes on operating at peak efficiency. Meanwhile, steam boilers and high-pressure hot water boilers over 110 degrees centigrade must conform to the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR). We can undertake annual PSSR inspections, which allow you to be able to ensure your steam boiler or high-pressure hot water boiler. And we’re also able to perform the more arduous Non-Destructive Test (NDT), which most boiler systems will need on a five-year timetable.
Get staff buy-in to reduce energy and water waste
The first step to lowering utility bills will be to understand healthcare facilities’ power and water usage. Compiling an energy checklist for different times of day will help to identify where savings can be made. And resolving issues with water being wasted can also be straightforward. We can advise on the use of self-closing taps in sinks, push-button controls in showers, and in-built flow regulators throughout your bathrooms will reduce the need for hot water. Finally, you can become more water-efficient through dual-flush cisterns and control-flow or waterless urinals, reducing your cold water usage too.
Most energy savings will be under the control of your staff. So it’s essential to make your team aware of the benefits that energy efficiency will bring. Get them involved and committed to energy and water management programmes. A clear and well-communicated utility management policy needs everyone on board. Appoint an energy team to improve awareness and get everyone signed up for changing their behaviour.
Hodgkinson Bennis will be on-hand to discuss any of the more complex options regarding heating and hot water systems and specialist equipment. Keep monitoring use (for instance, with half-hourly electricity consumption meters) and keep identifying areas for improvement. Together, we can promote energy efficient NHS and private hospitals for the long term.
Contact us to find out how we can promote energy efficient hospitals by fitting the best hospital boilers and HVAC systems.
Call: 0161 790 4411
About Hodgkinson Bennis
Hodgkinson Bennis design, install and maintain the most fuel-efficient commercial and industrial boilers. Our headquarters are in Manchester, and we work across the UK, particularly in the North West, North East and throughout the Midlands. Contact us today to discuss how we can deliver advanced commercial and industrial boilers.
At Hodgkinson Bennis, we have worked with commercial and industrial boilers since 1872. This history gives us an enviable amount of experience as pioneers in the industry. We place an enormous emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of all team members, suppliers contractors, and the public. We provide the most fuel-efficient boiler solutions for industrial and commercial applications. The efficiency of our steam and hot water systems can significantly reduce carbon footprint. Fuel efficiency is of particular importance for both private and public sector organisations. Our newest boiler ranges are already making in energy efficiency in hospitals, schools, and council and commercial properties.