Cutting energy bills by £1.1m a year and reducing annual carbon emissions by 8,100 tonnes is the target for 17 NHS trusts across England.

They have been awarded £5m in interest free loans from a £51.5m fund managed by Salix Finance, which is government funded through the Carbon Trust.

Loans range from £34,812 for Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases Foundation Trust to upgrade heating and lighting systems to £1.1m for voltage optimisation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Other projects include boiler replacements, PC power management, improved insulation and updated cooling/refrigeration systems.

Stockport Foundation Trust, which is aiming to cut emissions by half over 10 years, is one of the first to complete the Carbon Trust’s NHS carbon management programme.

Paul Holt, director of estates at the trust, said: “At a time when NHS funding is under pressure, these savings can now be reinvested into frontline services.”

There is still an opportunity for more NHS trusts to be involved, as the next round of applications is open until the end of December.