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Community Hospital UK’s First to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Community Hospital Becomes UK’s First to Achieve Carbon Neutrality
23 August 2023

Rye, Winchelsea & District Memorial Hospital has become the UK’s first community hospital to achieve carbon neutrality.

The NHS hospital is fully powered by renewable sources such as wind power and solar panels, and by the end of 2024 it is estimated that the overall energy consumption of the site will have reduced by approximately 240,000 kilowatt hours, a drop of 40 per cent from 2020 figures. This is a reduction of approximately 260 tonnes of carbon per annum, the equivalent of planting approximately 4,300 trees. 

A full clean of the hospital’s heating system and the replacement of all radiator valves has ensured the heating system operates more efficiently. A BMS used by the hospital’s in-house FM team, and property maintenance contractor DMA Group ensures onsite and remote live operational monitoring of all plant and equipment, energy utilisation, building and water temperature.

Rye Memorial Hospital has replaced gas boilers with new electric flow boilers and calorifiers and replaced the kitchen gas-fired equipment, eliminating the use of gas completely. The installation of internal and external LED lighting with automatic controls means energy is not wasted by leaving lights on. It is estimated that its solar roof panels will generate more than 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per annum. The hospital has also installed nine Tesla Powerwall solar batteries (3 per phase of electricity) with a total storage capacity of 120 KW to capture all surplus electricity generated by the solar panels, reducing the demand for electricity from the external supply grid. 

There have also been improvements to the hospital’s cold-water systems including the installation of a chemical dosing system and cold-water booster, increasing the water pressure in the hospital and reducing the risk of bacterial infections such as Legionella.

Barry Nealon, Chair at Rye, Winchelsea & District Memorial Hospital, said: “Our goal was always to become a fully functional net zero community hospital, but to have done it so quickly and as the UK’s first is beyond our expectations.  We had a mission to bring medical services closer to home for the benefit of our local community. To achieve this, we needed to reimagine our existing business models and aim for sustainable growth and a collaborative and experienced service partner like DMA Group to realise those goals, if we were to do our bit in curbing emissions and limiting global warming.”

Kevin Mcguane, energy services director at DMA, added: “We are confident that a return will be delivered in the short to medium term for the hospital. We have remained open and transparent with stakeholders about right design, solutions and the costings, and this proactive approach has enabled us to build a strong collaborative partnership with Rye Hospital that not only presented a route to net zero but also a sound business case.” 

Picture: a photograph of one of the hospital buildings with roof-mounted solar panels. Image Credit: DMA Group

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 August 2023


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