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Hot water in healthcare – the Net Zero challenge

Paul Marsden, Public Health Technical Specification manager at Baxi, and Chair of the Society of Public Health Engineers (SoPHE) Industry Working Group, discusses the challenges and opportunities for NHS Estates and Facilities managers surrounding the decarbonisation of domestic hot water. He argues that the high hot water demand frequently associated with healthcare premises makes it a clear focus for reduction in associated energy use and emissions.

One of the largest health systems in the world, with a vast estate, including hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, the NHS is a significant energy consumer, estimated to account for 4-5% of the UK’s total carbon footprint.1 The impacts of climate change represent one of the biggest public health challenges of this century, requiring health services to adapt to respond to new and increased health risks. As part of its commitment to tackling climate change, the NHS has set ambitious targets for reaching Net Zero from its directly controlled emissions by 2040, and the emissions it can influence by 2045. In so doing, it aims to become the world’s first Net Zero national health service. Reducing carbon emissions from hot water generation is one of the areas identified for achieving this target

The high hot water demand frequently associated with healthcare premises makes it a clear focus for reduction in associated energy use and emissions. However, it is one that comes with certain challenges – from the scale of the estate, to the huge variety of building types and hot water systems, to the specific considerations relating to domestic hot water (DHW) provision in these hygiene-critical environments.

In this article, we will discuss the particular requirements for hot water in hospitals and healthcare buildings, the challenges for estates and facilities managers in delivering reliable, sanitary hot water with reduced emissions, and the opportunities for improving the energy efficiency of hot water systems across the NHS estate to drive down its carbon footprint.

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Upcoming Events

Futurebuild 2024

ExCeL, London
5th - 7th March 2024

The Fire Safety Event 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
30th April - 2 May 2024

Wales regional conference, exhibition and awards dinner 2024

International Conference Centre (ICC) Newport
28th - 29th May 2024

NAHFO National Conference 2024

Crowne Plaza Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 5th June 2024

Design in Mental Health 2024

Manchester Central
4th - 5th June 2024

InstallerSHOW 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
25th - 27th June

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

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