Heat pumps can be key to a ‘decarbonised’ future

Michael Anderton, General manager, UK & I, of HVAC Building Solutions at Johnson Controls, says that against the backdrop of the NHS drive toward a Net Zero health service, heat pumps could have a key role as a primary source of generation in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, replacing fossil fuel boilers in the generation of heat.

The climate emergency is also a looming healthcare emergency unless we see urgent action. As healthcare buildings account for no less than 40% of emissions, reimagining the built environment around us is a priority like never before. The NHS alone produces around 4% of the UK’s annual emissions, so it is clear that it has a critical role to play in improving its own carbon footprint, and the efficiency of its building stock, all while striving to improve healthcare outcomes. This is not a straightforward ‘to do’ list.

As spelled out in its bold strategy to become the world’s first ‘Net Zero’ national health service, sustainable transformation across the NHS lies at the heart of the UK’s climate change response. However, with hospital Trusts in the grip of inflationary pressures and rocketing rises in energy bills, the drive to boost energy efficiency, sustainability, and healthy buildings, runs a real risk of slipping down the agenda – and these aren’t the only barriers to tackling the issues. The NHS has a truly vast and ageing building stock, with wide variation in type, construction size, and legacy systems. Confronting these challenges in all their complexity is an enormous but vital task if we want to see real progress in practice. 

Optimising where it matters most

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