NHS + Carbon Architecture = Super Savings

Carbon Architecture featured again in Energy Manager Magazine. Great article about how we have helped one NHS client unlock savings from their CHP installation


Richard McCann discovers how big energy users such as the NHS are meeting financial pressures through rigorous external audit and control…

The conventional electrical generation that typically comes from a power station cannot avoid significant losses both as waste heat and in transmission. But combined heat and power (CHP) is generated on-site – cutting transmission losses while utilising the resultant heat.


The significant savings to be had from on-site generation has made CHP particularly interesting to NHS Trusts, some of whom have now teamed up with consultants Carbon Architecture – people with extensive knowledge of CHP performance optimisation.

“Conventional generation has a total fuel efficiency of between 50 and 55%, while the total fuel efficiency of CHP is closer to 80%,” said Carbon Architecture MD Will Todd.

“As most people are only too well aware, the NHS is under financial pressure and I’m proud that our work saves money and protects other services from cuts.”

Carbon Architecture starts with an analysis of the Trust’s current setup and then provides comparatives of where additional efficiency savings can be made and how the system can be optimised further.

The optimisation process looks at electrical & heat generation efficiencies and how these utilities are used on site. This shows where improvements can be made – not only to the CHP system but the wider heat use network on site.  So as well as an audit of CHP, Carbon Architecture also looks at maximising the savings CHP systems can deliver.

Allan Morley, Director of Estates & Facilities at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said,

“Carbon Architecture has helped us navigate through multiple issues with an extremely complex CHP contract. They have also worked with the operator to improve CHP uptime and heat utilisation.

 “This work will result in the trust optimising the contract with the operator and enhanced ongoing savings for the remainder of its life. They also liaised with the operator to improve the transparency of the reporting and billing process so it is easier to understand.”

NHS Trusts often outsource the running and maintenance of CHPs to another organisation, and Carbon Architecture works collaboratively with the contracted operator and audits on behalf of NHS – providing a detailed independent assessment to ensure that the NHS is getting the best value for money.

Another advantage that Carbon Architecture brings to their clients is detailed knowledge of CHP contracts, allowing them to provide a leading-edge review of the complex contractual agreements and billing to ensure that the Trust is getting everything it is entitled to!

There’s more – big energy users such as the NHS have complex billing spreadsheets – and complexity often means errors! Those errors are seldom in favour of the buyers – meaning the trusts are over charged for the services they are receiving. “It would be very hard for clients to pick these up,” explains Will Todd, “as they don’t have the resource or expertise to find these errors.”

Carbon Architecture often find errors within the billing process that mean the Trusts are entitled to a rebate.

Outsourced operators generally work to meet the exact contracted requirements – who can blame them? “But there are often further saving that can be made above and beyond these,” says Mr Todd. “Carbon Architecture analyses the system potential and presents back opportunities in a quantified form that easily allow business cases for improvement works to be made.

“We also help many other energy intensive business and industries manage and minimise their increasing burden of costs and legislative compliance by developing and implementing sustainable cost saving strategies & solutions. Our core focus is waste, energy and water efficiency solutions for the NHS and FMCG industry. “

CHP Boilers

As well as the public sector, Carbon Architecture clients include the British Beer & Pub Association, The British Soft Drinks Association,  PepsiCo, RedBull, Vimto,  Lucozade Ribena, Fullers, Heineken, Adnams, Shepherd Neame, Brains Brewery, Dairy Crest, Arla Foods, Twaites, Mizkan (famous brands including Branston, Sarsons and Haywards), Novelis, The NHS, The London School of Business & Finance and Deli France.

The team at Carbon Architecture are dedicated professional engineers with extensive experience in utility management, process redesign & optimisation, waste & energy minimisation and environmental & carbon management.

More than 20 years working with industrial and commercial clients on a global level has equipped the Carbon Architecture team with the skills to analyse, evaluate and quantify energy, waste and utility saving opportunities and their impact on businesses and energy intense manufacturing processes.

Carbon Architecture accompanies clients through the whole continuous improvement process from beginning to end in order to identify and realise the best efficiency cost saving opportunities.

Clients benefit from Carbon Architecture’s one-stop-shop solution for cost saving projects – from initial auditing and scoping through to measuring & monitoring solutions, project implementation and finally ongoing support to deliver the savings over time. This delivers:

  • Rapidly accelerated progress to goals
  • Reduced management time & effort
  • More predictable manufacturing outcomes
  • Guaranteed return on investment

Will Todd: “From bespoke commissions through to business-wide strategies or initiatives, Carbon Architecture helps clients achieve reduced costs, increased profitability and improved environmental credentials.”