NHS criticised for wasting £150m on ‘overpriced’ electricity

Analysis has found that NHS could be saving an additional £68 million in 2019-20 for lower-priced gas

Big Zero Report 2022

NHSenergy costs would have been £150 million lower in 2019-20 if all trusts had paid the lowest price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity.

That’s according to analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance which suggests for gas, there could be a saving of £68 million.

The pressure group’s research used data on the estate costs of the NHS in England and assessed whether there are any potential inefficiencies in the operations of the healthcare system.

The author of the report notes during 2019-20, private finance initiative (PFI) hospitals have been shown to have a slightly lower unit cost for electricity compared to non-PFI hospitals.

The research suggests the average price paid per kWh for electricity by Trusts was 14.4p, which is the same as the average unit cost for domestic electricity.

It said: “The average for non-domestic electricity is slightly lower at around 13.15p – it seems remarkable that the NHS, with its enormous buying power, is paying so much.

“It should be noted that the UK average for non-domestic customers in the “very large” category for 2019-20 was 11.64p.”

An NHS spokesperson told ELN: “Individual Trusts are responsible for their own procurement of electricity and gas and inevitably this will vary depending on the clinical services they provide, in order to ensure the highest quality environment to provide care to patients.

“It is important that any analysis considers this, along with contract lengths and possible penalties, in order to be accurate and the NHS is continuing to support Trusts to go green as we bid to become the first health service in the world to reach net zero.”

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