Ylem’s Executive Director, Richard Greaves, shares an example of a £4.5-million project he managed at a hospital in the Midlands. The hospital was losing up to £30,000 a year due to system faults and was ready to upgrade its infrastructure and to save energy. Richard and his team delivered a 30 per cent reduction in heat consumption, with a payback on investment of just five years.
This particular hospital urgently needed to replace aged plant, save energy and reduce annual spending.
Many organisations have rising energy costs, targets to reduce carbon emissions, shrinking operating budgets, aged infrastructure and little resources or budget to carry out improvements. The hospital’s Trust was incurring annual costs of up to £30,000 thanks to leaks in their steam system. With the steam system being critical to the provision of heat and hot water to the hospital, it was extremely difficult to schedule repairs.
The approach was to develop an Energy Performance Contract (EPC), with design, installation and operation all included within a single agreement. By providing energy savings, this approach allowed the Trust to undertake the works and still achieve Cost Improvement Plan (CIP) targets. It was a collaborative approach to tailor the solution to meet the Trust’s needs.
The solution provided a new low temperature heating system (LTHW) to replace the aged steam system. This delivered energy and maintenance savings to pay for the upgrade.
Replacing the steam system was a priority for the Trust. A strategy was developed to convert the plantrooms from steam to Low Temperature Hot Water (LTHW) without disrupting the hospital.
For speed, a prefabricated energy centre was delivered to site, housing 3.6 MW of dual fuel boilers to support the site. Over a kilometre of pipes and connections to eight plantrooms were installed within nine months of the project commencing.
The steam and LTHW systems were run concurrently while the reliability of the new LTHW system was demonstrated.
A 1.2 MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine was also installed to provide heat to the heating system and savings through production of electricity, reducing reliance on grid electricity.
The trust was keen to maintain the heating system in-house, so training was given to their engineers during the installation period. The CHP is maintained for the life of the contract (15 years).
The majority of this scheme was funded through a SALIX loan application, with company finance covering the outstanding amount.
The project delivered a 30 per cent reduction in heat consumption for the site with a payback of just over 5 years on a £4.5-million scheme.