Give it a break

Last Christmas Day, when the University was closed, we used 101,760 kWhs of electricity - costing £6,000 and emitting 56 tonnes of carbon dioxide.


These figures can be reduced if everyone switches off as much equipment as possible before they leave for this Christmas break.

How much could your area save? Below are some examples.

  • PC and monitor
    80% of staff computers are switched off during University closed holidays. If this was raised to 95%, we would reduce our CO2 emissions by 15 tonnes and save £2,090 a year. (Based on a Stone ECO Saver 80 + computer with a 20 inch LCD monitor which is in standby mode. Switching off for 24 hours 15 days a year. Total number of PC's (12,000) from IP addresses monitored by ISS.)
  • ZIP water boiler
    If 250 hot water boilers were switched off overnight and at University holidays we would reduce our annual CO2 emissions by 37 tonnes and save £3,587 a year. (Based on ZIP standard hot water boiler, switched off for 12 hours every night for one year plus an extra 12 hours on the 15 days when the University is closed. Assuming there are 250 water boilers (one in every kitchen). Based on University campus energy tariff of 5.7/kWh.)
  • Fume cupboards
    One fume cupboard running continuously uses up to £1650 of electricity and gas a year in fans and heating and cooling its supply of air (HEEPI report, 2011). There are 700 fume cupboards on campus, so turning just 25% of these off over holidays could have a big impact. If the cupboard cannot be turned off, make sure that the sash is down. Consider making alternative appropriate arrangements for storing chemicals and turning the fume cupboard to an economy setting.
  • Lighting
    If lights were switched off in an additional 2% of the rooms across campus over University Holidays and at night an annual saving of over £25,000 could be achieved. (Based on four 5ft strip lights each using 0.058 kW per light switch being switched off for 24 hours for 15 days of the year and for 12 hours for 350 days of the year (the amount of lighting per room is a conservative figure). 2% of rooms across campus based on 17 811 rooms.)

The holidays also provide great times to defrost office fridges and freezers whilst nothing is being stored. One way to facilitate a switch off is by creating a checklist and sending an email. See our holiday shutdown plan.

We understand that certain equipment cannot be turned off, is too risky to turn off (i.e. it might not turn back on), is being used for research purposes, or is needed to maintain safety levels.  Any equipment that is not affected by this, and can be turned off, will help us meet our carbon reduction targets and reduce cost to the University during the closed period.

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