THE surging cost of electricity and gas has pushed Letterkenny hospital’s energy bill up by over €50,000 compared to five years ago.
The HSE recently began encouraging hospitals and state-run healthcare facilities to explore ways of reducing energy consumption.
Figures from the the health authority show that €735,704 was spent heating and powering Letterkenny University Hospital in 2022. The bill for St Conal’s Hospital was €137,968.
In 2018 energy companies were paid €680,935 in respect of Letterkenny hospital while St Conal’s cost €132,189.
The following year, 2019, was the cheapest in terms of powering both units. Letterkenny hospital’s bill was just €623,872 – a full €111,832 cheaper than it was last year. Similarly, St Conal’s was €25,288 lower four years ago than in 2022.
But the HSE said the rising costs have not impacted on its ability to deliver services at either hospital.
A spokesperson added that a number of initiatives had been introduced recently to try and drive down the cost of powering the units.
“The rising cost of energy has not adversely impacted on Letterkenny University Hospital’s ability to function,” said the HSE.
“We track energy usage on an ongoing basis as part of our energy management and reduction programme.
“A number of projects and programmes have been initiated to reduce energy use across the healthcare estate, including continuing our partnership arrangement with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to progress the energy efficiency agenda in the HSE.”
The health body said it had established a network of ‘energy and green teams’ to help tackle the soaring energy costs. Meanwhile a major programme to install power-efficient hardware has also been undertaken.
“These teams support and manage behavioural change energy related training, staff workshops and shallow energy retrofit programmes.
“The shallow retrofit work programme advances engineering works such as LED lighting upgrades, window and insulation upgrades, heat pump installations, building management systems, meter upgrades, pump upgrades and photovoltaic installations.
“We are also continuing the implementation of an energy efficient design and towards carbon zero design approach for all new capital works, to ensure that all new buildings are designed to be carbon zero ready and carbon zero in use once the electricity grid decarbonises.”
The rising cost of powering Letterkenny University Hospital:
LUH / St Conal’s
2018 €680,935 €132,189
2019 €623,872 €112,680
2020 €638,002 €119,096
2021 €749,817 €159,979
2022 €735,704 €137,968
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