case Study:
Manchester University
NHS Foundation Trust

“Streamlined Energy is such an improvement on how things used to be done!”
Kieran Beech, Senior Energy Officer, Manchester University NHS FT.

The Situation

A new hospital trust takes over the hospital and wants to deliver on its sustainability agenda.

The Challenge

The inherited energy management approach relied on paper checklists and lacked consistency.

The Solution

In 2021, the hospital began using the Streamlined Energy to record meter readings in a more consistent and accurate way.

The Result

Now, the team has eliminated the possibility of error. The paper-based processes have been replaced with a digital solution that offers far better presentation of the data together with benchmarking and historical reporting. Considerable time savings have been made.

Customer Story

We needed a better picture of what was going on around the site” says Kieran Beech, Senior Energy Officer, North Manchester General Hospital. Around the hospital site there are around 40 meters that were being read manually. Kieran arrived in post in February 2019, just before the hospital joined Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust is very forward-thinking and, as part of it's sustainability development management plan, it was important for me to introduce the proper monitoring of utilities and benchmarking, so we can deliver on the Trust’s sustainability agenda.” Ideally, Kieran would have liked to have moved to smart metering and a fully-automated solution for recording utility metering data. However, the North Manchester General Hospital site will be redeveloped over the next seven to eight years. Smart metering is expensive and, given the long payback period, it is difficult to make the case for return on investment. However, the approach Kieran had inherited of walking around the site to manually record data on paper sheets was not fit for purpose. He would have to think creatively about how to solve the problem.

Photo of North Manchester hospital

Choosing the Streamlined Energy App

In 2021, Kieran heard about the Streamlined Energy app. He saw that it would enable the team to move to a more reliable and efficient, semi-automated process. It would deliver many of the benefits of smart metering without the expense. Kieran explains, “When I heard about the app, I agreed to trial it for a few months to see how it worked. It seemed to make sense as an interim measure, so we purchased a mobile tablet device for our maintenance engineers and gave Streamlined Energy a try”. After downloading the Streamlined Energy app, the next step was to add the detail of the 40+ meters located around the hospital site. “We had support from Streamlined Energy; they helped us to set it up” Kieran adds. “Whenever we needed help, it was there straightaway. So, from a customer service element, it was great”. Instead of touring the site with a clipboard, the maintenance engineers can simply take a photo of the meter data using the tablet and it is recorded automatically in the Streamlined Energy app. Gone is the laborious process of typing up the clipboard data. “We’ve totally removed the possibility of error” reports Kieran.

Benefits delivered for the hospital

The North Manchester General Hospital team used Streamlined Energy on a trial basis for three months before deciding to switch to it on a more permanent basis. Kieran says, “The way the reads were being sent through is much better than in the past. And the data is presented in a much better fashion. It was such an improvement on how things used to be done”. The primary benefit has been the improvement to the system of monitoring and the accuracy of readings. “We were getting reads at infrequent intervals, but we wanted them as close as possible to month end. Using the app has helped to focus minds on the timeliness of the reads. It’s changed the culture so that everyone understands the importance of timeliness and accuracy”. The improved accuracy has been supplemented by a second benefit that delivers clear return on investment: using Streamlined Energy has reduced the man hours spent taking and recording metering data. “It used to take a full day to get all the reads” says Kieran. “Now, it’s a lot easier. We’ve also completely eliminated the work of typing the paper records into spreadsheets, because the app registers that automatically from the image”.

Helping to future-proof the process

Because all the data about each of the meters is held in the Streamlined Energy app, the app can be used to guide engineers around the site to take the readings. This helps to deliver an improved level of business continuity and succession planning. “If somebody new was to take the readings, we’ve got enough detail to find the meters and where to find the keys and what those keys look like. There are prompts, for example, to go to a certain reception desk to get the keys or other access,” explains Kieran. “It gives us a bit of futureproofing. If someone was to leave or go off sick, we have contingency moving forward”. What’s more, the data can be continually added to and updated very easily. If Kieran discovers other meters that weren’t detailed by the previous trust, he can simply add them to the Streamlined Energy app. “That’s another thing that’s good about the app,” states Kieran. “Our use of the app can expand at any time. As we complete asset surveys around the site, we are continuing to add information about metering”.

Better data will drive sustainability improvements

We have now got that better picture of what’s happening around the site,” states Kieran. “I can see the reports, I can compare against historical data, I can use it for benchmarking against CIBSE data. I know it’s all been properly logged and reliable.” Having a better overview of energy consumption across the hospital site will help to drive energy efficiency improvements. For one, moving forward, Kieran will have a better idea of where additional metering might need to be added to give extra meaning to the data collected. Secondly, it will make it possible to track the impact of the sustainability actions taken as part of the Trust’s plan. “The app will help us to see the effect of the energy efficiency projects we install” confirms Kieran. “We’ll be able to determine the payback on those projects and we can compare the real results with the proposed results”. This will help the team to target resources even more efficiently in the future. Kieran has already recommended the app to other energy managers within and outside the Trust. “We’re now looking at using the Streamlined Energy app across the Trust’s other sites as well” adds Kieran. “We’re keen to share best practice wherever we can.

Next Steps

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