Case Studies

Ex-Or helps hospitals meet their carbon saving targets

Southampton University Hospital Trust is just one of a growing number of hospitals and healthcare trusts around the country turning to lighting control to help them meet their environmental obligations.

It is one of ten NHS Trusts across England, Wales and Scotland set to cut their annual carbon footprint by 15 per cent or 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by joining the Carbon Trust's NHS Carbon Management programme. This is also helping them reduce their combined annual energy bill by over £7 million per year.

Recognising that eliminating the unnecessary use of lighting is an extremely good way of reducing carbon emissions, Southampton University Hospital Trust has turned to Ex-Or to deliver lighting control across its estate.

“Ex-Or systems installed at Southampton General Hospital”

Ex-Or produces lighting controls and management systems tailored to meet the specific needs of the healthcare buildings sector.
Ex-Or presence detection and daylight saving systems have been installed over three floors of Southampton General Hospital controlling open plan office areas, meeting rooms, corridors and patients' waiting areas.
Lighting in all areas of an operating theatre suite (apart from the operating area itself) is being controlled by Ex-Or systems which dim and switch off the lights when the areas are out of use. Ex-Or controls also switches the ventilation systems on and off in line with usage patterns.

“An ambitious programme of upgrading and improving patient ward lighting”

Ex-Or lighting control is also installed in two paediatric operating theatres in the hospital. The Trust has an ambitious programme of upgrading and improving patient ward lighting; Ex-Or daylight-saving equipment will dim the lighting when levels of natural light are high, so maintaining optimum lighting levels on the wards at all times of the day.

“Aim to cut carbon emissions by 17 percent”

Said Fred Rolfe, principal engineer in Southampton General Hospital's estates and capital development department: “We want to cut our carbon emissions by 17 percent over the next five years. We have identified several energy conservation schemes that will help us achieve this aim, and controlling the lighting is one of those.”
The NHS has the largest property portfolio in Europe and emits around one million tonnes of carbon every year. Under the Government's climate change programme, there is a mandatory requirement on the NHS to make energy/carbon savings, and targets have been set to reduce primary energy consumption by 15% by March 2010.
Lighting comprises the biggest electrical load in a building, accounting for up to half the electricity costs. With electricity usually making up half of the total energy bill, the potential for savings is considerable. In spite of this, lighting is often overlooked, either because savings are under-estimated, or it is thought that economies cannot be made without compromising the lit environment.

“Savings of 60% are commonplace”

An increasing number of hospitals, however, are switching on to the energy and cost-saving benefits of lighting control. Ex-Or is now helping a number of hospitals around the country to eliminate the unnecessary use of lights, and savings of 60% on energy bills are commonplace.

“Not all areas in hospitals are, of course, appropriate for control. But consider the huge amounts of space devoted to administration within the healthcare estate, not to mention the miles of corridors within hospitals themselves - the potential for saving energy by the automatic elimination of unnecessary lighting is vast.”
Horton General Hospital, Banbury was one of the first hospitals to have Ex-Or control systems installed. The BMS-linked systems provided a payback of under two years. It was followed closely by Churchill Hospital in Oxfordshire where Ex-Or systems were installed throughout its purpose-built oncology department.
Other installations include Lymington Hospital, New Forest; North Devon Hospital, Barnstaple where Ex-Or control systems are installed in the corridors and stairways. Various areas within Whittington Hospital, North London too are now controlled by Ex-Or systems. In the conference rooms and lecture theatres SceneSelect II, Ex-Or's scene setting and dimming system, has been installed.
Over the last 20 years, Ex-Or has amassed extensive experience of lighting control projects within the public sector. We are increasingly seeing value for money and elimination of wasteful expenditure move higher up the agenda for health service administrators. More and more realise that every pound saved from energy cutbacks can be put towards improving patient care.