Saving energy

In 2019, the University used just under 97,500,000 kWh of energy, which is equivalent to 154 kWh of energy per square metre of gross floor area, or just under 3,000 kWh per full-time equivalent student. 84% of the electricity supplied to and used by the University was generated using renewable sources, specifically hydro (60.4%), geothermal (17.4%), biogas and wood (1.3%), wind (4.7%) and solar (0.2%). Of the energy used in buildings, 58% was generated from renewable resources.  

The University has been monitoring, measuring and working to reduce energy use for 40 years. We save energy by including energy-efficient operating plant, lighting and equipment in our buildings, by using motion and light sensors, by encouraging staff and students to save energy by turning off lights and equipment when not in use, and by enabling energy saving defaults/sleep modes on computing and other equipment.

After energy consumption decreased considerably in the 1980s and remained relatively steady in the 1990s, a period of extended operating hours, more leased buildings and increased IT needs contributed to an exponential increase from the late 1990s to mid-2000s. This increase was halted by intensively engaging senior leaders, decision-makers, and staff and students in energy saving initiatives. The mid-2000s heralded the start of a significant building programme including mainly medical, science and engineering buildings, which tend to be more energy intensive than others. While total energy consumption has started to creep up again, and is now double what it was in the early 1980s, the rate of increase is less than half of what it was previously and is still considerably less than could have been expected by the tripling of our student numbers and our gross floor area increasing by two and a half times.

What you can do

  • Turn off the lights if you're going to leave the office for more than 10 minutes.
  • Switch off lights in other areas when you can see that they are not needed.
  • Turn off computer screens that are not in use.
  • When you're leaving for the day, turn both your personal computer and your screen off.
  • Make sure that energy-saving modes are operating on all types of electronic equipment.
  • If you're the last to leave the office, turn off lights, printers and photocopiers.
  • Report faulty and energy intensive equipment by filling out a maintenance request.