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Reducing energy use on the campuses

The climate emergency is one of the most pressing issues facing us today and ‘Climate Change and Net Zero’ is one of the three institutional themes within our University strategy.

Recognising that we need to make changes to the things we do every day if we are to begin to mitigate the impact we are having on the planet, from 1 October the University will adopt a new heating policy for both its campuses, informed by our drive to reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of the surge in global energy costs.

The University’s core heating season will remain unchanged – from 1 October to 30 April. Careful management and temperature control, however, are one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing the University’s energy demand. Our aim, therefore, is to heat all academic, support, residential and business areas of the campuses to a temperature of 18°C-20°C, rather than the previous 19°C-21°C.

Information on the daily heating times for the various parts of the University activity is available in the policy. Over the Christmas and Easter periods, to reduce emissions and energy costs, the University will isolate the heating services to any buildings that will be unoccupied during those periods.

You should not use your own portable electric heaters, these can have a negative impact on building temperatures by affecting the Building Management System controlling the heating and ventilation systems, but are also expensive to operate, can trip electrical networks and may be a fire risk.  

Greg Watts, the University’s Energy Manager, said: “The University is committed to reaching Net Zero scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 or before, and reducing the temperature of our heating by just 1°C will deliver significant energy and carbon savings.

“It will also help us to make some financial savings. With the much-talked about rise in energy prices, we’re forecasting that we’ll spend £17m this year on gas and electricity, a rise of £7m on 2021-22.”

He continues: “As well as the steps the University is taking to reduce usage and costs, there are simple measures we can all take. For example, if a room is too warm, adjust the thermostatic control on the radiators first, rather than opening a window. And keep an extra layer to hand in case a room feels a little chilly.”

The full Heating Policy is available on the University website.

Further information on the University’s strategic aims under the ‘Climate Change and Net Zero’ theme is available on the Creating Better Futures. Together website.