How Certero's PowerStudio innovation is helping health trusts to save money and cut carbon emissions
In November the winners of the 2013 Building Better Healthcare Awards were announced at a plush ceremony in central London. Here, we speak to Certero, the company behind PowerStudio, the innovation that picked up the Award for Best Carbon Reduction Project, about their success and how they are helping health trusts to become more sustainable
The NHS is being charged with reducing carbon emissions by a whopping 80% by 2050. This means trusts up and down the country are looking to manufacturers and suppliers to come up with innovative ways of reducing energy costs and improving sustainability.
One of the companies that has responded to this challenge is Certero, which picked up the 2014 Building Better Healthcare Award for Best Carbon Reduction Project. The accolade was given in recognition of the work carried out to implement the PC power management solution, PowerStudio, at Barts Health NHS Trust. PowerStudio is a power-saving solution which intuitively monitors usage patterns to detect when computers can be powered down.
We like to think our BBH Award will raise the profile of energy-saving technologies and encourage other trusts to follow suit and make efficiencies
Speaking to BBH , John Lunt, managing director of Certero, said: “Running a PC costs about £92 a year to keep active. If switched off when not in use, we believe we can reduce this down to £40, which is a significant saving.
“If you have thousands of computers then a saving of £50 per piece of equipment starts to become quite meaningful. The NHS has around a million computers, so it suddenly becomes very worthwhile to do.”
PowerStudio not only switches off computers when not in use, it also has built in intelligence that can monitor usage and adapt to suit individual users.
Lunt said: “We can power PCs up 10 minutes before a member of staff gets into work and shut them down 10 minutes after they leave. We can also programme the system to detect when someone is working late and take appropriate action. The solution does everything for the user. This is really useful in a hospital where some services, such as A&E, are being operated 24/7, but where there are also nine-to-five back-office functions, which end at a certain time each day.
“You have also got a complex mix of behaviours within healthcare trusts, which are more complicated than the average business. When we go into an organisation we examine every PC and set the parameters to provide the most energy-saving solution.”
Barts Health NHS Trust has PCs in 26 different buildings across its estate, totalling more than 5,500 machines. Certero was able to deploy its PowerStudio solution across all of these. The project has helped to reduce the amount of carbon credits being purchased and provide evidence of carbon savings to satisfy the CRC scheme. It has also played a critical part in improving the trust’s green credentials and reputation for promoting energy-efficient IT use.
One of Certero’s major discoveries when looking into IT usage at the trust was the high overnight power waste of 85%. This meant the potential energy savings could recoup the cost of the solution within four months.
The system also benefits from a parameter-driven interface allowing management to ask questions. Answers are displayed through easy-to-understand charts, graphs and widgets. This allows the involvement of key stakeholders including IT managers to study overall power usage in fine detail and establish areas to save power, reduce bills and reach green energy targets.
Using Certero PowerStudio solution, the trust is driving savings of £10,000 a month and will save a total of £600,000 over the next five years.
Solutions such as PowerStudio have the potential to save the health service millions, which can be ploughed back in to frontline services
Lunt said: “The NHS is our largest customer and we have more than 200,000 devices covered with PowerStudio. Hospital trusts are becoming more and more technology driven. Therefore, by default, they have thousands of PCs. It is common to have between 3,000 and 4,000 in a single trust. Solutions such as PowerStudio have the potential to save the health service millions, which can be ploughed back in to frontline services.”
Commenting on winning the BBH Award, he added: “We believe we help the NHS a lot with all our products and it was nice to see that recognised. We like to think it will raise the profile of energy-saving technologies and encourage other trusts to follow suit and make efficiencies.
“Energy-saving equipment like wind turbines and double glazing cost a considerable sum of money, so the relatively-cheaper low-hanging fruit enables trusts to get benefits quickly and easily, then to fund more expensive technologies further down the line when savings have been achieved.”