Utrecht University reduces heating

The temperature in university buildings will be reduced from 21 to 19 degrees Celsius

Luchtfoto van UU-gebouwen op het Utrecht Science Park
Utrecht Science Park. Photographer: Irvin van Hemert

Utrecht University will regulate heating of the buildings. In the upcoming period, temperature will be lowered from 21 to 19 ºC. This follows from a call from the Dutch government on civilians, corporations, and institutions to reduce the dependency on Russian gas. At the same time, by lowering heating we also contribute to the climate goals of the university.

Step by step

The temperature will be lowered in steps of one degree. This week, the temperature will go down from 21 to 20 degrees Celsius. In early May, the thermostat will be turned to the final temperature of 19 degrees. Firstly, the change will apply to all education and office spaces. Then we will decide whether this will be also applied to labs, where stabilised temperatures are needed for ongoing research.

Sustainability targets

UU has been working on reducing its environmental footprint. Some university buildings are heated by means of thermal storage (a sustainable alternative for heating and cooling of buildings).We are also look how sustainability can be further improved during maintenance, for example by better insulating spaces. The Executive Board is aware that students and staff will need time to get used to these changes. Executive Board President Anton Pijpers says: "Now that the government is asking us to turn down the heating and is leading by example, we can't stay behind as a university. Tilburg University lowed the temperature in their buildings years ago already. It’s a sure and effective step to reduce the CO2 footprint. I appreciate students’ and staff's cooperation and understanding. Should you feel cold, just wear an additional layer of clothing. We will evaluate the process periodically so as to monitor its impact. We will also review attitude change at the university."

Do you have any questions?

By lowering heating, the university responds to the governmental campaign ‘Zet ook de knop om’. In the meanwhile, a working group will continue monitoring energy use. This can result in raising heating in the summer, so as to avoid unnecessary cooling (i.e. wasting energy). If you have any questions or feedback, please use the FSC Request Form