COMMERCIAL: Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust has signed an agreement with Schneider Electric which it hopes will save £17m in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Private company Schneider Electric is providing up front funding for the project worth £7.2m to pay for the upgrading of old inefficient energy infrastructure and improvements to the trust’s Musgrove Park Hospital.

An integrated refurbishment programme developed by Schneider in consultation with the trust’s estate management team comprises 180 measures aimed at reducing energy consumption.

Managing director of Schneider Electric’s buildings business in the UK and Ireland Dave Berardi said: “This is a great example of a win-win situation at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented budgetary pressures. The project is funded from guaranteed future energy savings, requiring no up-front capital from the Trust. It also generates a net cash surplus and liberates immediate capital for deployment elsewhere.

“What’s more, the hospital can rest safe in the knowledge that its energy usage will be significantly reduced over the long term. With the combined energy costs of the NHS estate totalling over £500m we expect further trusts across the UK to follow Musgrove Park’s innovative lead.”