Hospitals are to be encouraged to install wind turbines and solar panels to cut the NHS’s energy costs and help save the planet.
Ministers are to establish a £50m fund to improve energy efficiency across the NHS which emits one million tons of carbon a year and is among the largest and most resource hungry organisations in the world.
Hospitals will be able to apply to the fund for their own energy projects, which will save costs and reduce emissions. The money saved – a potential £12.5m a year – will be re-invested in patient care.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: “Hospitals use a huge amount of power, costing almost £600m every year. This fund gives hospitals the go-ahead for all kinds of efficiency projects that will help them reduce the amount of energy they use and, as a result, their energy bills. Saving money on fuel and energy bills means more money for the NHS to spend on front line patient care.”
Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, has converted its heating system from oil to a combination of natural gas and woodchips which burn more cleanly than fuel oil.