The Construction & Engineering team at global law firm Squire Sanders has announced that it has advised the Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF) on 9 projects to upgrade energy generating equipment at hospitals across the UK, part of a programme to deliver £1.2 billion of investment in the National Health Service (NHS) over a four year period. The CEF has plans to upgrade around 60 hospitals over the next four years.
The CEF is a NHS partnership which was established to work alongside NHS Trusts around the country to allow them to upgrade out-of-date heating and lighting systems and to provide modern energy and heat generating equipment, cut their carbon use and reduce expenditure on energy. The Fund also enables hospitals in some cases to consider the use of renewable energy sources such as the installation of solar panels, biomass systems and wind turbines in order to cut CO2 emissions.
Working with the CEF, NHS Trusts can choose a contractor from the CEF’s framework panel to upgrade and maintain their equipment, providing energy typically over a 15-year period. In return, the Trust pays a monthly or quarterly sum to the contractor, which is offset by the energy savings which the contractor guarantees that the Trust will obtain each year. These guaranteed energy savings are designed to exceed the payments made by the Trust to the contractor each year. One of the first hospitals to benefit from the Fund, Royal Berkshire Hospital, has estimated that it could save between £500,000 and £1 million a year in electricity bills and reduce its CO2 emissions by about 3,200 tonnes.
The Squire Sanders Construction & Engineering team advising the CEF is led by partner Robert Norris, assisted by Ray O’Connor and Matthew Edwards. The team was involved in the very first CEF project at Royal Berkshire Hospital, and also similar CEF projects at Royal Wolverhampton Hospital, Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham, Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, York Hospital, Northampton Hospital, Grantham Hospital, Nottingham Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital. Further projects are in the pipeline.
Mr. Norris said: “The Carbon and Energy Fund has introduced an innovative, fast track approach to procurement as it operates a framework of contractors that have already gone through a public procurement process, avoiding the need for additional lengthy competitive dialogue on each project. Not only does this result in a time and cost saving for Trusts, involving no capital outlay, but it also introduces new greener energy generating equipment that is cheaper to run.”