THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Energy costs at St James’s Hospital are set to plummet, along with its carbon footprint, thanks to an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with Veolia and CEFI. Denise Maguire speaks to Kyle Wylie, the hospital’s FM Engineering Manager and John Lambe, Business Development Manager Ireland at Veolia about the largest EPC contract in Ireland to date.
Back in January 2020 eight hospitals across the country took part in ‘The BIG Switch Off’, an initiative that aimed to demonstrate the positive impact individual actions can have in reducing healthcare’s carbon footprint. Over just three days, the hospitals involved in the initiative saved enough electricity to run 97 standard Irish homes for a month. That’s a lot of electricity and a good indicator of the amount of energy that’s needed to maintain a modern healthcare facility.
Hospitals serve thousands of patients, employees and visitors every year and consume a huge amount of energy in lighting, cooling, refrigeration, ventilation and other systems. Compared to other general public buildings, a hospital will use twice as much energy resulting in higher energy costs and a larger carbon footprint.
In Ireland, steps are being taken to improve the energy performance of hospitals; in 2018, the Mater Hospital in Dublin agreed a 15-year Energy Infrastructure Project Agreement with Veolia to reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint by approximately 81,000 tonnes, cut imported electricity from the national grid by 77% and deliver €26 million in guaranteed energy and operational savings.
Energy projects such as these make good sense, not just financially but from a patient perspective. Following on from its agreement with the Mater, Veolia is now working with St James’s Hospital to reduce its energy costs and carbon footprint. In partnership with the Carbon and Energy Fund Ireland (CEFI), the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) agreed between the hospital and Veolia is the largest of its kind in Irish healthcare to date and will undoubtedly set an important precedent in the sector.
Under the EPC agreement, work is currently well underway at St James’s. Veolia has been contracted to install and operate energy efficient equipment in the hospital and is also responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment for 20 years after installation completes. St James’s staff will be trained on the new equipment so they can provide first response and PPM services to the equipment.
The contract promises to deliver €26 million in guaranteed energy and operational savings, while the hospital’s carbon footprint will be reduced by approximately 118,380 tonnes, cutting electrical consumption by 26% per annum. The new energy efficient equipment will also reduce the dependency on the Dublin 8 electrical grid and places the hospital in an optimum position to reach its 2030 climate targets.
Read the full article in Issue 1 2021 of Irish Construction Industry Magazine
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine