The Carter Report: How the NHS Can Improve Energy Efficiency


The most recent carter report was published early last year (2016) by Lord Carter which identified the important and unwarranted variation in running costs of infection rates, sickness absence and prices paid for services and supplies. If action is taken to reduce these costs, the NHS could save billions of pounds each year, £5bn to be exact.

Estates and Facilities Management

The Carter Report also heavily focuses on the importance of efficiency in estates and facilities management within hospitals. The report identified that the NHS operates in over 1,200 hospitals, as well as 3,000 other treatment facilities across the UK, most of which function 24 hours per day. The occupied floor area of the NHS is the equivalent to 3,500 football pitches with running costs through the roof, over £8 billion is spent each year, with costs still on the rise.

As a result of these high costs, 32 trusts worked together with the department of health to develop an estates and facilities management dashboard which gives each trust the understanding of their costs and information about how to spot efficiency opportunities. This dashboard covers every aspect of the operational management of the estates and facilities function, including aspects such as energy consumption, cleaning and laundry services and food given to patients.

Energy Consumption

This dashboard shows a significant opportunity for how hospitals can reduce their energy consumption whilst helping to mitigate against the effects of climate change through better energy efficiency. Acute trusts within the NHS spend over £400 million each year on energy which could save £36 million if all trusts are to move to the media benchmark. The savings could stretch to over £120 million if trusts invest in energy saving schemes such as smart energy management systems, LED lighting and combined heat and power units. Trusts have a history of investing in such schemes as the previous 2013-2014 £50 million energy efficiency fund was oversubscribed in under four years.

With this in mind, the Carter report recommends that Department of Health establish a new ‘invest to save energy efficiency fund’ by April 2017.

The Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management

The Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management (IHEEM) is the leading professional engineering body in the healthcare estates sector, helping trusts to reduce costs and save energy within hospitals. IHEEM is an international niche, now working globally as a leading player in the International Federation of Hospital Engineers (IFHE). The CEO, Julian Amey worked closely to develop the Carter Report and helps NHS trusts to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

IHEEM’s main aim is to qualify and support hospital engineers in developing their careers. They achieve this by working closely with its industry partners, the Department of Health and education sector. IHEEM is also influential in ‘thought leadership’ in the healthcare sector and helps to shape the agenda for innovation, efficiency and carbon reduction through their major national and regional conferences.

2EA® are registered Low Carbon Energy Assessors, Consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors, offering both energy management and reduction services ranging from CCL/CHPQA Management to Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) consultancy.

For more information please contact us either by email to or by calling 01293 521 350.

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