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Case Study: NHS Walsall

NHS Walsall, a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital, has been successfully operating under a PFI contract since 2011. A key component of this contract is achieving a significant energy target.

Case Study

NHS Walsall

Back in 2011, NHS Walsall had the task of procuring gas and electricity for the upcoming year. The earlier experience and interaction with the Trust’s energy provider/consultant found that the process was quite intricate. While NHS Walsall were introduced to the procurement process, they found it to be overly bureaucratic and inflexible.

NHS Walsall made a pivotal decision to shift to the private sector to find a more adaptable and responsive energy management solution. After conducting thorough research and speaking with various brokers, NHS Walsall ultimately chose Trident Utilities as their preferred partner.

The Challenge

  • Maintaining budget certainty and paying less for energy procurement
  • Capitalising on shifting market trends
  • Avoiding excessive pricing during periods of volatile price

The Solution

  • Securing new energy partner within the private sector
  • Additional support through comprehensive market insights and data
  • Daily and weekly reporting to develop a more strategic energy management approach

The Benefits

  • Securing enough budget certainty to satisfy finance departments while still capitalising on market forces
  • Energy savings of £1,000,000+ against the Gov support level for both electricity and gas

New partner selection pays off

Partnering with Trident has enabled NHS Walsall to really capitalise on the market data and insights the team provide. Trident’s support and their consistent daily reporting has empowered NHS Walsall to develop a more strategic approach to energy management and gain a deeper understanding of the ever-changing energy market.

The market volatility of recent years necessitated NHS Walsall’s ability to adapt their energy management strategy. In 2021, NHS Walsall faced a critical decision of whether to lock in prices for the upcoming winter. After careful consideration, the Trust chose to hedge 50% of the energy volume, while utilising shorter-term markets to hedge the remaining 50% exposure. For the Winter period the UK government introduced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) where discounts were applied to energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023 for eligible non-domestic consumers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

For all non-domestic energy users in Great Britain and Northern Ireland this government supported price was set at:

  • electricity - £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) / 21.1p per kilowatt hour (KWh)
  • gas - £75 per MWh / 7.5p per KWh

The energy procurement strategy adopted by the Trust led to a saving of over £1m against the government support level. The Trust effectively uses the information provided by Trident to establish a comprehensive long-term budgeting process. This is communicated to their finance department regularly during meetings where they analyse market data and explore available options. This collaborative effort ensures that the budget is aligned with the trust's strategic goals, allowing them to react appropriately to market shifts without too much exposure to risk.

What NHS Walsall think

At NHS Walsall, we have developed unwavering confidence in Trident’s ongoing partnership. This stems from their ability to help us consistently meet our energy targets and strategic objectives as they have evolved.

Paul Richardson, Estates Manager

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