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How much energy should a GP surgery use?

    As environmental sustainability is becoming a primary focus of modern healthcare, general practices need to consider their overall energy usage and find ways to reduce it. The benefits of being more energy efficient include reducing costs and achieving carbon footprint reductions.

    But how much energy should a GP surgery use to create positive impacts? In this article, we’ll explore the potential possibilities when it comes to setting achievable goals for your practice. We’ll also look at why saving energy can benefit patients through better quality care, as well as talk about what measures you can put in place today to start making changes to energy efficiency in GP surgeries.

    Energy Use

    The average energy used by a GP surgery in the UK is 1,505 kWh per year. This is equivalent to the amount of energy an average household uses in a year.

    There are several ways that GP surgeries can reduce their energy usage. Some simple tips include turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use, ensuring that equipment is calibrated correctly so that it doesn’t need to be unnecessarily turned on, and ensuring that the office temperature is set at a comfortable level.

    It’s also important to note that there are many ways for GP surgeries to generate renewable energy. 

    Energy Saving Ways

    One area that needs to be considered as an opportunity for cost-saving measures is energy efficiency. Implementing energy management strategies and adopting sustainable practices can help GP practices reap substantial economic benefits while simultaneously reducing their environmental impact.

    Energy Consumption Monitoring

    The surgery can keep tabs on overall energy use by measuring it consistently, and its employees will have a deeper appreciation for the impact they can have on the practice’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly. 

    In addition, the surgery can learn more about its energy use profile, including when peak energy use occurs, by installing sensors to track energy consumption daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. 

    Instances of high energy costs, such as turning on and off the heating system too early or too late, as well as leaving lights and machinery on beyond business hours, are all examples of being wasteful.

    Consider Lightings

    Compared to ‘standard’ fluorescent tubes, energy savings from switching to modern LED lighting can reach up to 80%, and the more natural light they provide often results in a better working environment. 

    Furthermore, if this is financially feasible, full conversion to LED illumination offers the greatest savings in the least amount of time. The alternative is to swap out bulbs when they burn out or during periodic maintenance. In order to assess the potential for saving money and energy, it is advisable to conduct a professional lighting study.

    Solar PV

    Photovoltaics have gotten cheaper and more efficient in the previous five years. Installing a solar PV system on your building’s roof can provide most or all of your electricity demands, and excess energy can be sold back into the grid. However, installing solar PV on your building requires considerable thinking and an expert survey to ensure viability.

    GP procedures need specialised, energy-intensive equipment. Such goods need a thorough examination to ensure efforts to cut energy costs don’t harm patient care or staff welfare.

    Raise Awareness Among Staff

    One of the most important things that can be done to sustain energy savings is an education campaign that highlights the importance of changing people’s habits to cut back on their usage. 

    Targeting specific behaviours like turning off lights and office equipment or using heating settings appropriately, an intelligent campaign can reduce energy consumption by 5 per cent. It needs to be individualised for your team so that it inspires and motivates them in the same ways that work best for them.

    Regular building maintenance

    Regular maintenance ensures your building’s efficiency. Window, wall, and door repairs will save money quickly. Double or triple-glazed windows improve energy efficiency but are expensive to install. Using drapes and shades to limit winter draughts and summer thermal gains will save money.

    Take Away

    It is essential to find the right balance when it comes to saving energy in a GP surgery. While making small changes can have a significant impact over time, it is also important not to go too far and make patients and staff uncomfortable or unhappy. Luckily, there are many ways to save energy without sacrificing comfort or convenience.