Trust hails cut in gases

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

HOSPITAL bosses have welcomed a cut in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions as it looks to save more than £400,000 a year.

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spent £2.375m on utilities during the last financial year but figures show a reduction in energy consumption and cuts in emissions of three per cent.

Speaking at a recent board meeting, Lynne Hodgson, director of finance, information and technology, said: “The Trust spent £2.375m on utilities during 2012-13, experiencing gas commodity price rises of 20 per cent and carbon emissions of 14,044 tonnes CO2.

“Normalising the data to account for annual temperature variances saw an annual reduction in energy consumption and emissions of three per cent.”

Board members were told CO2 emissions, since the Government reference year of 2007-08, showed an overall reduction of 30 per cent, which is well ahead of the Government target of 10 per cent by 2015 and close to the 2020 target of 34 per cent.

Board members renewed their support for the ongoing carbon management plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, make energy savings and reduce costs.

The plan has identified 25 projects which could cut CO2 emissions by 2,550 tonnes and save £400,000 a year in utility bills by 2015.

Of the 25, 19 have been completed, including using low energy lighting in wards, corridors and car parks, better insulation and more energy efficient boilers.

The Trust manages the University of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road, and Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees.

Nationally, the NHS is responsible for more than 18m tonnes of CO2 each year and in recognition of the fears over climate change, the Government introduced the Climate Change Act, with a target to cut carbon emissions.

Under the Act, the Carbon Reduction Commitment was also introduced which is an additional tax for larger, ‘energy heavy’ organisations potentially increasing from £12/TonneCO2 on imported utilities in 2012-13 to £30/TonneCO2 by 2020.

Mrs Hodgson added: “The more we can do to reduce our emissions, the more we can do to reduce that significant tax.”