Energy crisis will send NHS bill soaring past £1 billion

Posted in Energy Costs

Back in 2019, research conducted by Energy Management estimated the energy costs of the UK Public Sector to be around £500m.

Taking hospitals in England into consideration alone, that figure is now calculated to have more than doubled when today’s sky-high energy prices are applied to the last set of figures published by NHS Digital.

The NHS Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) 2020/21 reveals the true extent of hospital operating costs, with energy accounting for a large percentage of the overall spend.

In the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, over £630 million was spent on gas and electricity.

Since the end of March, wholesale gas prices have more than doubled (240%) and electricity has gone up by an equally staggering 184%.

Those soaring energy costs will only add to the pressure the NHS is under in the current COVID-19 pandemic but, unfortunately, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.

Assuming energy consumption has remained consistent since April, based on today’s prices overall energy costs will have rocketed to £1.2 billion when the next ERIC report is published.

Hospitals with the biggest bills are in the East and West of England

Out of the 1,200+ hospitals that make up the NHS Estate, three hospitals had an annual electricity spend of over £5 million.

Addenbrooke Hospital, part of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was top with £6.8 million spent on lighting buildings and powering equipment, followed by the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Birmingham (£5.9 million) and Southmead in North Bristol (£5.1 million).

St James’ Hospital in Leeds and St George’s Hospital in South London spent most on gas (£3.5 million) with the Royal Victoria in Newcastle-upon-Tyne the other hospital to go over the £3 million mark.

As many hospitals are based on different sites, there may be multiple energy supplier contracts involved with different start and end dates and keeping track of energy costs can be problematic as a result.

Also, the NHS estate is a real mish-mash of state-of-the-art modern facilities and Victorian hospitals that are no longer fit for purpose, and the energy efficiency of some buildings will vary drastically to others.

Energy Management’s portal, EM-Powered, helps to tackle such issues and give a proper overview of how much energy is being consumed and where, to a high degree of accuracy.

If you would like to discuss the full range of benefits of EM-Powered or would like to talk to one of our consultants about energy procurement or the other uk energy management services we offer, please get in touch on 01225-867722.

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