Hospital’s Cutting Edge Green Technology Attracts MP’s Attention

3rd May 2012

Kilmarnock MP Cathy Jamieson paid a visit to University Hospital Crosshouse recently to have a look at the hospital’s new energy saving technology.

The equipment includes a new biomass boiler, which is state-of-the-art with only two others of its kind found elsewhere in the UK. A representative of local charity The Energy Agency, formerly South Ayrshire Energy Agency, showed Cathy around and explained how the new boiler can help to provide cheaper energy and hot water for the hospital. The boiler uses wood pellets for fuel, rather than the gas used by conventional boilers.

Gas, as with other other fossil fuels, is currently increasing in price and will continue to do so in future, which is why increasingly individuals, businesses and community organisations are seeking to replace conventional boilers with renewable alternatives such as biomass boilers. The trend towards renewables will also help the UK to reduce its carbon emissions in line with the government’s target for carbon reduction by 2020. The new boiler will supply 60% of the hospital’s heating and hot water demand during the winter and 100% during the summer.

“It’s exciting that University Hospital Crosshouse is at the forefront of new energy saving technologies in the UK” Cathy said. “The biomass boiler will save the hospital a significant amount of money while also reducing their carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation and I hope other businesses in the area will now look at getting these boilers installed so even more people can benefit from them.”

According to John Wright, the Director of Information and Clinical Services at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the NHS needs to find “imaginative and innovative” ways to reduce its carbon footprint. “As well as encouraging our staff to do simple things like switch off lights and equipment when not in use, we are also exploring how new technology can help us reduce the amount of energy we use” he said. “Our state-of-the-art biomass boiler at University Hospital Crosshouse is an excellent example of using technology not only to reduce energy costs, but also to protect the environment.”

Liz said that the visit was organised by The Energy Agency “to demonstrate the effectiveness of both biomass heating and energy efficiency.”

The Energy Agency is a registered charity which helps to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in the area and is now one of 52 Energy Efficiency Advice Centres in the UK. As well as promoting renewable energy it helps to relieve fuel poverty, provides volunteer training and works with various health sector partnerships. It also runs the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre which is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust.