The growing trend for self-contained single-room bed spaces, including either en-suite bathrooms or preferably a wetroom, which not only make the most of smaller spaces but is a practical solution for people with restricted mobility, is driving daily demands for hot water in care homes. Heating the water for more than 17,000 residential care and nursing homes in the UK, their estimated 400,000 residents and a further 750,000 staff means the sector’s energy demands for this service alone are considerable and potentially a key contributor to both operational costs and carbon emissions. Understanding and addressing hot water generation should therefore be an important part of a care home’s daily operation, especially if the sustainability of the care home environment is being challenged.
Adveco Live Metering of the hot water demands of a building is a quick, non-invasive, and extremely cost-effective means of gauging needs. It also provides application design which enables owner/managers to develop realistic and sustainable development strategies which deliver active results today with low to no impact on ongoing operations.
Unless a new build, which will be electrical-based, most refurbishments will look to either improve on existing gas systems or aim to completely replace them with electrical alternatives, typically heat pumps and/or direct-electric heating. This comes at a cost, in terms of capital and especially operational expense, but does reduce carbon emissions.
Solar thermal can help further reduce carbon, but crucially also reduces the expense associated with operating on both gas or electric, reducing annual energy requirements by typically 30% although it could be more. With a less than 10-year return on investment now possible, solar thermal, as a proven renewable should be on any list of net zero technologies being considered as part of a care home’s sustainability strategy.