RE:FIT helps the NHS cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills
- Published on Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:06
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Reducing carbon emissions is at the forefront of the Mayor of London's RE:FIT programme, the award-winning scheme which provides a framework for public sector organisations to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings through retrofitting energy conservation measures.
The energy savings are guaranteed, thus offering a secure financial saving.
RE:FIT is a public sector initiative for the public sector. Unlike other schemes, there are no royalty or other costs associated with accessing the RE:FIT Framework and no sharing of the energy saving benefits realised.
The NHS is just one of the sectors benefitting from RE:FIT, with 18 NHS organisations in London having signed up to the programme. These include Newham University Hospital, NHS Waltham Forest (now part of the North East London and City Cluster (NELC)) and West London Mental Health NHS Trust. The project at Newham University Hospital is already on its second phase, having used RE:FIT initially to upgrade air handling units in the hospital.
Justin Pereira, Assistant Director of Site Development and Facilities, Newham University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, said:
"As a Trust we were pleased to be one of the early path finders with the RE:FIT programme. I chose to use the RE:FIT Framework because it was tried and tested, OJEU compliant and easy to access. It has shown the benefits, support and savings that can be achieved as a programme and also allowed the best solutions to be taken up by the organisation."
The RE:FIT scheme has been recognised as the model for retrofitting buildings by the UK government, who have committed to roll out the scheme nationally. This is not surprising: RE:FIT is already saving over 12,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of nearly 1,400 flights from London to Paris. Retroffitting work has been carried out, or is in progress, to 111 buildings to an equivalent area of 55 football pitches. Capital investment of over £13 million has already resulted in energy savings of over £2.1 million per annum.
RE:FIT is a live programme and the current pipeline includes work with a further 51 London organisations to retrofit over 550 additional public sector buildings. This comprises a total works value exceeding £60 million, realising an estimated CO2 reduction of 51,000 tonnes per annum.
One of the organisations in the pipeline is West London NHS Mental Health Trust, which is looking to retrofit 13 of its buildings. Eric Munro, Director of Capital, Estates and Facilities, said:
"The key benefit to me of RE:FIT is being able to access savings within an environment of cost improvements in the NHS. We will make a carbon saving which meets our national targets, the carbon tax saving and also the utility cost saving in the face of increased costs."
Energy efficiency for the NHS has recently been given a boost by the Department of Health, which announced a £50 million fund available for NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts to invest in projects to improve energy efficiency during 2013-14. RE:FIT provides a proven scheme to support health organisations to access these funds.
For more information about RE:FIT please visit www.REFIT.org.uk.