Reducing energy use over the winter break

Over the University’s festive closure period, turning things off could reduce our environmental impact more than you might expect. 

A picture showing campus covered in snow.

Despite the majority of the University estate being closed during the festive period, we still used a total of 155,000 kWh of electricity and 143,000 kWh of heat on Christmas Day 2018. To put that into context, this is as much electricity as 40 average UK homes use in a full year!

This year’s University closure period runs from Monday 20 December 2021 until Monday 3 January 2022.

Over the festive season, the Estates team manages the University buildings to avoid unnecessary energy use. But, before you leave, you can help by:

  • Closing all windows – our heating systems are set to a low level to protect buildings, but a window left open accidentally can substantially increase the energy used to maintain this temperature;
  • Unplugging portable electric heaters;
  • Switching off lights and IT equipment, including screens and projectors;
  • Ensuring as much lab equipment as possible is turned off, such as drying cabinets and incubators; and
  • Remembering to turn off less obvious energy wasters – printers, hot water boilers and microwaves can all be unplugged.

We understand some equipment is required to maintain safety or is being used for research purposes and needs to remain turned on. However, any equipment which can be turned off will help us to avoid wasted energy and unnecessary carbon emissions. 

If you’re working from home, you can help to reduce your own energy consumption by unplugging any University equipment you won’t be using during the closure period. 

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