But because of the pandemic, our campus has seen the majority of staff and students work and study from home since March.
Consequently, the University has seen a significant reduction in energy consumption across most of the campus, with staff from Facilities Management (FM) working hard to ensure energy use is minimised where possible whilst also keeping buildings safe and operational ready for the gradual return of staff and students.
So far, the University has seen a saving of over £500k in electricity and more than £100k in gas since April compared to the expected energy spend predicted for the year. Another positive outcome is that this has helped the University understand what its minimum operating consumption looks like.
This minimum consumption covers medical equipment, fridges and freezes which cannot be turned off, and high spec equipment that could be damaged if energy supply is not maintained or the environment around it becomes too warm, cold or damp. Furthermore, water needs to be heated too to prevent legionella, and air needs to be circulated in buildings to prevent stagnation.
Despite this, like energy bills paid at home, the cost reduction doesn’t mirror the reduction in consumption. For example, the institution is still required to pay standing charges for energy.
As we move into the 2020/21 academic year, the University’s future usage is unpredictable, and we can only do our best to forecast, monitor and report based on the information collected so far.
If you have already started to return to work on campus, or are due to do so soon, here are some tips that you can action to keep the institution’s energy use low:
- Remember to switch off as much as you can when leaving after each visit. Anything left on may be on for extended periods of time before you or someone else goes back to them.
- If equipment is essential and needs power, please ensure it is labelled with information and contact details to ensure it is not switched off by mistake.
- Remember to report any energy wasters you encounter, such as dripping taps or lights not operating the way they should.
- Remember to stay safe and follow the guidelines to keep yourself, your friends, your colleagues, and your families safe.
For more information or for help on any queries you have regarding energy use at the University, please email email@example.com.
The University also has a dedicated ‘Back to Campus’ website with more information about working on campus, teaching and learning in the 2020/21 academic year, and the measures taken to keep the University safe for staff and students.