The installation of its new renewable systems was followed by confirmation from its electricity supplier that all the hospital’s power now comes from fully renewable sources such as solar panels and wind power. This means the hospital has reduced its carbon footprint by 100 per cent.
By the end of 2024, it is estimated that the hospital’s overall energy consumption at will have reduced by approximately 240,000 Kilowatt hours, a drop of 40 per cent from 2020 figures, and a total reduction of approximately 260 tonnes of carbon per annum, the equivalent of planting approximately 4,300 trees. The project, commissioned in September 2021, has been designed and delivered by property maintenance specialist, DMA Group, and fully funded by the Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital charity.
Rye Memorial Hospital has replaced gas boilers with new electric flow boilers and calorifiers, and replaced its kitchen gas-fired equipment, eliminating the use of gas completely. The installation of internal and external LED lighting with automatic controls means energy is not wasted by leaving lights on, while it is estimated that the hospital’s solar roof panels will generate over 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per annum. The hospital has also installed nine Tesla Powerwall solar batteries (3 per phase of electricity) with a total storage capacity of 120 kW to capture all surplus electricity generated by the solar panels, reducing the demand for electricity from the external supply grid.
A full clean of the hospital’s heating system, the replacement of all radiator valves, has ensured that the heating system operates more efficiently, while a building management system (BMS) used by the hospital’s in-house FM team and DMA Group ensures on-site and remote live operational monitoring of all plant and equipment, energy utilisation, building and water temperature. DMA says this all ensures a better environment for patients and staff, as each team can identify an issue before it becomes a problem.
Other work completed as completed as part of the Rye Memorial Hospital’s modernisation includes:
the installation of solar blinds in the nurses’ station to help reduce glare and heat to create a more comfortable working environment.
A new air-conditioning system in the nurses’ station,.
New air-conditioning units in the communications and medicine rooms reduce the risk of equipment failure and overheating of medicines.
Improvements to the hospital’s cold water systems including the installation of a chemical dosing system and cold-water booster, increasing water pressure in, and reducing the risk of bacterial infections such as Legionella.
Barry Nealon, chairman at Rye, Winchelsea & District Memorial Hospital, said: “Our goal was always to become a fully functional Net Zero community hospital, but to have done it so quickly, and as the UK’s first, it is beyond our expectations. We had a mission to bring medical services closer to home for the local community’s benefit. To achieve this, we needed to reimagine our existing business models and aim for sustainable growth and a collaborative and experienced service partner like DMA Group to realise those goals, if we were to do our bit in curbing emissions and limiting global warming.”
The project has been led by the hospital’s former Chief Operating Officer (and now Trustee), Martyn Phillips, who has worked with DMA to ensure the best possible decarbonisation plan, and that replacement of life-expired plant and equipment means the hospital infrastructure will function effectively for the next 20 years.
Kevin Mcguane, Energy Services director at DMA, said: “We are confident that a return will be delivered in the short to medium term for the hospital. We have remained open and transparent with stakeholders about the right design, solutions, and costings, and this proactive approach has enabled us to build a strong collaborative partnership with Rye Hospital that not only presented a route to Net Zero, but also a sound business case.”