That’s according to new research, which states the NHS trusts spend around £500 million a year on energy but could reduce those costs by using technologies such as onsite energy generation, services that monitor consumption and provide energy efficiency like LED lighting, combined heat and power (CHP) plants and demand side response (DSR).
The study by Centrica Business Solutions adds if just half of the NHS trusts adopted these distributed energy solutions and updated old technologies, savings of at least £130 million could be seen.
That’s enough to fund more than 4,000 nursing jobs and will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions.
In a 50% scenario, the need to deliver the technologies to the sector could also support around 15,000 jobs.
Several NHS trusts have, however, been trialling energy-saving technologies – Centrica states the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust has installed a new CHP plant, which is helping reduce emissions by almost 2,800 tonnes a year and delivering annual savings of around £500,000.
Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director at Centrica Business Solutions said: “”Many healthcare providers still see energy as a high fixed cost, a commodity that is delivered to them, something over which they have little control. This is something we must change if we are to ensure the longevity of our health services.
“Energy could – and should – be a force for good for the NHS, helping to create financial efficiencies and unlock opportunities to make improvements in patient care. However, it needs more support and funding to modernise its hospital estates. Energy technology has come a long way in the past few decades and the systems used by most hospitals across Britain can benefit from the latest energy efficient solutions and equipment.”