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New Energy Centre saves Trust £600,000 in first three months

The £14.8m Hospital Energy Project, completed by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) towards the end of 2017, is already producing significant savings for the Trust.


In the first quarter of the CHP being fully operational (October – December 2017) the Trust saved approximately £600,000 on its energy bill for the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals (excluding the PFI).


The ambitious Hospital Energy Project removed old boilers in the Churchill and John Radcliffe Hospitals and replaced them with a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine, new combi boilers, Energy Link between the two hospitals, heat stations, updated and upgraded building management systems, and replaced 6,407 light fittings to a mixture of LED, low-energy bulbs and some smart fittings. 


The work was necessary to provide the hospitals with the infrastructure required for the efficient provision of healthcare services now and into the future.  

The project involved sinking some 2.2kms of pre-insulated ‘smart’ pipe underground to connect hospital buildings across the two sites, which are 1.4km apart as the crow flies. The Churchill (excluding PFI estates) is now 100% grid-free, with all its electricity being supplied from the CHP via the Energy Link.

This new energy and heating infrastructure will cut the Trust’s CO output by 10,000 tonnes per year (the equivalent of 4,000 homes’ CO emissions).

Speaking at the official opening of the new Energy Centre in November, Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is exceptionally good news that we are already seeing significant savings on our energy bills.”


In October 2017 – the first full month of operation – the energy bill for the two hospitals (excluding the PFI estates) was £252,832.27; in October 2016 the same bill was £484,175.03. This represents a saving of a staggering £7,462 a day in the first full month!


Dr Holthof cautioned that this level of savings might not be realised throughout a full year and confirmed that OUH would be monitoring future months’ savings very closely.

Claire Hennessy, Head of Operational Estates and Facilities Management for Oxford University Hospitals, said: “This is a new era of sustainable energy provision for the Trust. For the first time in decades, we have moved into the winter with reliable heat and power, while also cutting our CO emissions and saving on our energy bills and backlog maintenance.”


The Energy Project has slashed £11m from backlog maintenance over a three year period.

Mark Bristow, Lead Project Manager for the Hospital Energy Project at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “It is testament to the skill and commitment of everyone involved in this project that it was completed without interrupting patient care at either hospital. No outpatient appointments or operations were cancelled as a result of the works.”


Ashley Malin, Project Development Director of Vital Energi – the Trust’s commercial partners on the project – added: “In addition to the significant financial savings, this project also delivers significant benefits to the local community in lower CO emissions.”