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Over 10% of NHS estate to switch to 100% renewable electricity by April 2020

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has announced two new energy contracts via Inspired Energy. British Gas Business will provide 100 per cent renewable electricity and Corona will provide natural gas to all its properties across England by April 2020.

NHSPS is responsible for around 11 per cent of the NHS estate, totalling more than 34 million sq ft, with over 3,500 properties (covering mostly hospitals, health centres and GP surgeries) and 5,000 employees. By moving to 100% renewable electricity, NHSPS  says it will “offset over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, demonstrating its dedication to tackling climate change while promoting sustainable practices with all its buildings”.

The use of renewable electricity won’t increase costs to either NHSPS tenants or NHSPS itself. With the implementation of a new procurement strategy, as part of the new contracts, it added it “will be able to deliver some of the best prices in the market, while managing risk and maintaining budget certainty”.

The move follows the launch of the ‘For a greener NHS’ campaign and forms part of NHSPS helping to transform the NHS estate so that it can provide sustainably run buildings that help to deliver excellent patient care.

The NHS is currently responsible for around 4-5 per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint. In September 2019, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said the NHS would be accelerating its efforts to tackle climate change with a series of co-ordinated measures to reduce its carbon output – saying that the health service should also embolden staff to lead discussions with the public about wider measures needed to address climate change.

As well as switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity by April 2020, NHSPS is also committing £1.5 million in 2019/20 towards an LED upgrade programme, among other measures.

On top of being responsible for over 11 per cent of the NHS estate itself, NHSPS provides property and facilities management expertise to the NHS. At a time of major change and increasing demand for the NHS, NHS Property Services is reducing costs, creating a more fit for purpose estate and generating vital funds, all of which are reinvested back into the NHS estate to support improvements in frontline patient care.

Commenting on the deal, Martin Steele, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Property Services, said: “Switching to 100% renewable electricity for all our buildings is a landmark moment in efforts to transform our NHS portfolio into a sustainable estate. We take our responsibility towards reducing the environmental impact of our buildings very seriously. This move will also help us to improve the wellbeing of our people and patients whilst reducing NHS operating and maintenance costs.”

Dylan Crompton, Head of Customer Solutions for British Gas Business, said: “We’re excited to have secured the contract with the NHS Property Services team which will pave the way to a more sustainable health service. As we all look towards reducing our emissions in order to meet the government’s net zero targets, switching to a renewable electricity tariff is one of the simplest yet most effective measures any organisation can take.”  

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