Extra boost energy transition: Utrecht University turns the switch!

How do you save energy? That question is not only on the minds of many Dutch households, but also of Utrecht University. On the one hand because of rising energy costs. On the other hand because we want to be CO2 neutral by 2030. That is why the UU has an Energy Saving Task Force since October. The aim of the task force is to reduce energy consumption by an additional 15 percent in 2023.   

When it comes to sustainability, a lot of work is already being done at various places within the UU. For instance, all suitable roofs are (soon) filled with solar panels, we are working on thermal energy storage and the heating has been lowered with two degrees since April. At the same time, we still have steps to take to reach our goal of being CO2 neutral by 2030. For this reason and because of rising energy prices, the Executive Board decided last October to appoint an Energy Saving Task Force.

Reducing our energy consumption with 15 percent 

Currently, Utrecht University annually consumes as much gas as 13,000 households. Due to rising prices, the energy bill of the UU could reach 38 million euros next year. Money we would rather spend on education and research. Therefore, the Energy Saving Task Force was asked to identify opportunities within UU to reduce energy consumption and capitalise them.

The aim is to save 15 percent energy by 2023. This is an additional saving, on top of the existing energy saving targets. To achieve this, the task force has already collected 100 ideas. These include suggestions such as replacing old freezers and refrigerators, closing buildings (or parts of buildings) at quiet times of the day and smarter control of pump systems for heating and cooling.

The ideas raised are not only limited to adjustments the university can make to its buildings. There are also suggestions on how employees and students themselves can contribute. Think about turning off lights, closing windows and turning off monitors when you go home. Or turning on the dishwasher only when it is completely full. That is why on 9 January the campaign 'Universiteit Utrecht turns the switch' will be launched. This follows the government campaign of the same name.

UU turns the switch

During the campaign, which will run throughout 2023, UU employees and students will be made aware of what effect (adjusting) their behaviour will have on sustainable energy consumption. The goal is that eventually we will be as energy-conscious at university as we are at home. During the campaign, we share energy-saving tips via posters, intranet and narrowcasting screens. 

Saving energy together! 

Although the Energy Saving Task Force has already collected many ideas, more suggestions for savings measures are welcome. Share your suggestions with zetdeknopom@uu.nl.