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HSE to pilot electric ambulance

The HSE’s National Ambulance Service (NAS) is to pilot an electric ambulance, a spokesperson has confirmed.

“This ambulance will be based in Tallaght Ambulance Station. This will be an emergency ambulance. It is currently going through a testing phase,” outlined the HSE spokesperson.

The development was noted in briefing documents for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly as being part of the health sector’s efforts to reduce emissions.

As one of the largest public sector energy users, the health service “must act as an exemplar of best practice in taking climate action, reducing emissions and the mitigation of the adverse health effects of climate change”, according to the HSE’s 2019 annual report.

Key measures set out in the climate action plan for the public sector include targets of 50 per cent energy efficiency and 30 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030. In addition, all public sector buildings, including healthcare buildings, must be upgraded to a B2 energy rating, which “will require an unprecedented major refurbishment programme”, according to the HSE report.

A 33 per cent energy efficiency improvement is targeted by Irish public bodies by the end of 2020 in the context of Ireland’s EU and national commitments and wider climate change goals.

According to the Annual Report 2019 on Public Sector Energy Efficiency Performance, the HSE was among the 10 largest energy consumers that reported data for 2018.

It noted the HSE’s energy savings since the baseline was 23 per cent. The category of health excluding the HSE was 37 per cent.

Overall, based on the data from public sector bodies and schools, the energy efficiency performance achieved for 2018 represented a 27 per cent improvement. This was described as a “good result”, particularly as it constituted a sustained linear trajectory of improvement since the introduction of the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy in January 2017.

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