How to save energy this winter

December 11th, 2023

Over the Christmas holiday period, the university spends around £320,000 on electricity despite being closed. On Christmas Day itself, we still manage to use 65% of our average annual daily energy consumption! This isn’t environmentally or financially sustainable.

Energy costs continue to rise for everyone. The university’s energy bill has gone from £14m in 2020/2021 to an eye-watering expected £33m this year. This is a significant budget pressure for the university and every extra £1 spent on energy could be directed towards our core business and to supporting staff and students.

Actions we’ve taken to save energy

The Sustainability Team and Estate Office have accelerated work this year to drive down our carbon emissions and energy use, whilst at the same time providing warm places in which to work and study.

For example, we have upgraded LED lighting, ultra–low temperature freezers and chemical storage units and high-efficient air compressors.

Our asset replacement program has invested in new boiler heating systems, roof and insulation replacements, and improved our building management system (BMS) to optimise building’s heating and reduce waste, plus much more.

Despite all this we are still seeing a significant increase in energy costs. Work is ongoing but we also need the help of everyone to meet our energy and carbon reduction targets.

Your actions matter

We all have responsibility to act sustainably to reduce our environmental impact. When it comes to saving energy:

  • Switch off lights and electrical appliances fully when not needed, especially overnight and when the university is closed over Christmas. Follow our checklist to switch off your area before the holidays. Ask permission if you are unsure
  • Avoid using portable electric heating devices – if your space feels cool contact the Estates helpdesk
  • Keep doors and windows closed when the heating is on and close windows at the end of the day
  • Report faults that are leading to excessive use or waste of energy to the Estates helpdesk
  • Put up posters and stickers to remind people to switch off. Contact the sustainability team to obtain some
  • Identify additional steps your department could take to reduce energy and establish a building shut down manager if needed. The sustainability team can provide advice on how you can go about this.

Laboratories are our most energy intensive areas where additional savings can be made. Please:

Contact the sustainability team for more information on any of the above.

Take a look at what else you can do to save energy on campus and at home this winter.

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