The hospital energy project

Published: 26-Apr-2018

This is the award entry for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in the Best Example of Efficiencies - Operational category

The boilers at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Churchill (CH) and John Radcliffe (JR) hospitals dated back to 1963 and 1973.

They were unreliable, polluting, inefficient, drained resources and had to be replaced.

Vital Energi's proposal for a CHP at the JR with an energy link between the JR and CH was selected after a tender process.

Vital Energi has guaranteed savings on energy and heating bills and the trust pays for the project from these savings. If the savings are not met, Vital pays the difference.

This 14.8m project involved:

  • Installing new boilers at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals
  • Installing a 4.5MWe CHP at the JR to provide all the electricity to the CH, running power at the JR, and heating and hot water at both sites
  • Digging local roads to lay the 2.2km underground energy link between the JR and CH transferring electricity, hot water, and communications in a continuous loop
  • Fitting 6,407 new energy-saving light fittings at the JR and Churchill
  • The JR's 1970s chilling plants are being replaced to provide more efficient cooling and significantly reduce the trust's Legionella risk
  • The project is being financed over 25 years out of the guaranteed savings, not from the capital budget
  • The Building Management System has been optimised so it is easier to budget and forecast
The hospital energy project

And the benefits are:

  • The two hospitals are virtually National Grid-free in the retained estate
  • Substantial risks removed from both sites include asbestos; defunct, unsupported infrastructure; hot water boilers; HTHW systems; oil tanks; 1940s generators at the Churchill; 1970s boilers and pipework at the JR; 30,000 tonnes of 1970s chiller equipment
  • The trust's CO2 output will be cut by 10,000 tonnes per year (equal to emissions from 4,000 homes)
  • Trust will save 461,746 (net) every year for 25 years
  • The new lighting is 90% more efficient
  • Trust will use approx 3,200 fewer lightbulbs a year
  • The estates team who were permanently changing lightbulbs, are now being employed in more pro-active tasks
  • Patients and staff have commented on the improved brightness in wards and corridors
  • Trust will save 11,000,000 on backlog maintenance over the next three years

The project was led and run by operational estates and they will now work with Vital in a 25-year partnership for the maintenance and performance of the new engineering.

The CH (excluding the PFI) is 100% Grid-free for its electricity.

In the first six months of full operation, the trust has saved just over £1.5m on its energy and heating bills for the retained estate.

The entire installation was done with interrupting any patient care at either hospital.

There have been no emergency callouts or major failures since practical completion.

It is the first winter for decades that no clinical areas had to be closed as a result of loss of heating or power.

Heating, chilling and power are now sustainable, efficient, reliable and futureproofed

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