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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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The Hospital Energy Project

The old boilers, generators, pipework and infrastructure have been removed and replaced with new - this has been done without shutting down any part of the hospitals and without disrupting clinical care at any time.

Background to the project

Route mapThe Hospital Energy Project is an ambitious, innovative engineering scheme to:

  • replace the outdated energy and heating systems at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals
  • reduce the energy bills of Oxford University Hospitals (OUH)
  • guarantee OUH energy and heat provision for at least 25 years
  • reduce OUH's reliance on the National Grid.

As part of this, a pipe known as the 'Energy Link' has linked the John Radcliffe and Churchill with a district heating pipeline, high voltage cable and communications cabling.

View Energy Link route map

The Hospital Energy Project - the heart of the hospital

When you go to hospital, do you ever stop and wonder how such an enormous building gets its heating, hot water and lights?. This video gives a rare glimpse into the infrastructure of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and details its innovative Hospital Energy Project, which replaces aged lighting, boilers and generators with 21st century technology and the Energy Link that runs between the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals.


Energy savings

The Hospital Energy Project will generate in excess of 10,000 tonnes of carbon savings annually – this is the same amount of CO2 that 4,000 average sized homes produce every year and roughly equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off Headington’s roads each year.

The new energy infrastructure and the savings are guaranteed for 25 years.

This £14.7 million project is being paid for over 25 years from the annual savings NOT from the capital budget.

Oxford University Hospitals is guaranteed savings of £460,000 a year on its energy bills, the equivalent of 13 nurses. If the guaranteed savings are not met, Vital Energi will reimburse the Trust the difference.

Oxford University Hospitals will generate the vast majority of our own power, reducing the Trust’s reliance on the National Grid. This saves money and increases our reliability.

Financial savings

The new Combined Heat and Power generator and boilers will save Oxford University Hospitals £11 million in back-log maintenance – this sum can now be spent elsewhere in the Trust and Estates staff can be re-deployed on other jobs.


The new lights in the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals are up to 90% more efficient.

Oxford University Hospitals is already saving around £9,000 in electricity and 3,000 replacement lightbulbs a year.

Health benefits

The new heat exchangers will significantly reduce the risk of legionella.

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