ason Stanton (JS): Hi Brendan, hope you’re well. I think we should start this conversation with you defining – in plain English! – what an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) is.
Brendan Rouse (BR): The easiest way to describe it is that an EPC is a contract between an authority and an Energy Services Company (ESCo), where the ESCo offers guaranteed energy saving through a variety of measures – following a detailed audit of the authority’s estate. This is paid for in capital, as a service charge, or through a share of the savings.
JS: So – why did you decide to put an EPC in place at Great Ormond Street Hospital?
BR: Like many NHS Trusts, we need to reduce our energy spend and your programme helped to address that. We have a constantly evolving estate and wanted to explore the different financing options that are available for energy reducing capital projects. The EPC will allow us to tackle a number of areas under one project, helping us to save time too.
JS: Tell me about some of the best parts of our energy efficiency programme that you’ve experienced – so far.
BR: The project offers a great deal of flexibility and we will have continuous input into the design and be able to adapt the programme and scope as our estate evolves. Plus, it comes with a savings guarantee which is great – it’s going to help us meet our 10% budget savings across Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
JS: Why not just do it yourself? I mean, we’re glad you didn’t, but –
BR: We’re glad too! Essentia were able to show us a wide range of previous experience. We felt that you offered us a partnership approach and you have actually worked closely alongside us at each stage of the procurement process. The fact that established, and proven, terms and conditions were already in place was very attractive to us, and it has saved us a lot of time, money – and effort.
JS: Every EPC project is unique, especially within the NHS. What challenges did GOSH face during the project and how was this dealt with.
BR: As I said before, our estate is constantly evolving. This means that, at any one time, we have a number of major redevelopment projects going on, at different stages to each other – so to be able to say with certainty what our estate will look like in the future is difficult. With your guidance we were able to identify a section of our buildings that were guaranteed to remain for the foreseeable future and base the initial project on these, which helped bring clarity to the project as a whole.
JS: What benefits does GOSH expect to gain from having an EPC in place?
BR: This will allow us to run multiple projects in parallel and under one contract. We look forward to working in partnership with our selected partner, E.ON, to identify energy saving opportunities. Ultimately the savings generated will go straight back to the front line and help us to improve things for patients throughout their time at our hospital.