The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) spends about K1.8 million annually on electricity bills, and this far more than the institution can afford to pay.

Chief Hospital Administrator Isaac Kakumbi said this during a workshop on ‘Energy Efficiency Quick-Win Actions’ initiative funded by the European Union (EU) at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka on Tuesday.

He revealed that the hospital is currently “consuming more power than it is able to pay for”.

Kakumbi said the hospital consumes a lot of energy on heating water for patients, kitchen activities and air conditioning.

“At the moment we are consuming more than what we are able to pay for and to prudently utilise the limited resources that the hospital has, we are trying to see how best we can diversify so that we are able to live within our means,” said Kakumbi.

“We feel with abundant sunshine in our country, we can diversify and be able to utilise the sun as the first line of energy supply then ZESCO and generators as second and third.”

Kakumbi said the hospital has embarked on a programme to install LED lighting.

“These are cheaper. They consume less energy and lasts long,” said Kakumbi.

“We’re also trying to install energy solar pumps for the water reticulation system.”

UTH sits on an area of close to 120 hectares and employs about 3,640 members of staff.

It is the country’s largest referral health institution providing health services for the entire country.

The workshop was attended by both local and regional stakeholders who exchanged ideas and experiences on how to reduce demand for energy.

The energy efficiency quick-win action project is aimed at cutting electricity supply deficit by encouraging use of other sources of energy.

It is also meant to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for energy efficiency investments in both public and private sectors.

UTH is one of the institutions that were covered under the EU-funded energy efficiency feasibility studies whose results were launched yesterday.