FINANCE: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s board has approved a £2.7m full business case for a combined heat and power plant at Lister Hospital.

Once ready in the autumn of 2012, the trust believes is will reduce the hospital’s energy bills by around £650,000 every year and lower the whole Trust’s carbon emissions by nearly 20 per cent.

The project also resolves some £1.3m of backlog maintenance issues to do with the Lister’s heating and hot water supply systems.

The new plant will be built by Dalkia Utilities Services plc and is described as a “highly cost-efficient and sustainable solution” to the Lister’s power needs.

The guaranteed annual energy savings have been calculated at £647,050, with a reduction of 4,044 tonnes of carbon emissions – 19 per cent of the trust’s total emissions across all four of its hospital sites currently. 

This reduction also means that the trust will outlay less in the new carbon tax that comes in to effect from 2012, thus saving even more money.

Trust chief executive Nick Carver said: “The savings are immediate and very significant, the plant’s construction will not disturb patient care and the project allows us to address £1.3m in backlog maintenance to our heating and hot water supply systems. 

“At a time when the trust has to make considerable financial savings whilst maintaining high quality clinical care, this project really does tick all the boxes.”

The new combined heat and power plant will be located within the hospital’s existing boiler house. Work started in it this month.