Utrecht University reduces the 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

At Utrecht University (UU), the heating is going to be reduced. In the upcoming period, the temperature in university buildings will be reduced from 21 to 19 degrees Celsius. The direct cause for this is the call from the Dutch government on civilians, corporations and institutions to reduce the dependency on Russian gas. The reduction contributes to the climate goals of the university.

Gradually

The temperature reduction will be carried out gradually in steps of one degree Celsius. This week, the temperature will go from 21 to 20 degrees Celsius. In early May, the thermostat will be turned to the final temperature of 19 degrees. In any case, the change will apply to all education and office spaces. In the time to come, UU will investigate which research spaces can also be included in the temperature reduction. It is possible that the decision will be made to either adjust or not adjust the temperature per research space. For instance if the reduction could interfere with research processes.

Sustainability targets

UU has already been working to reduce its use of gas and reduce its environmental footprint in the process. Some examples are that some of the university buildings are heated by means of thermal storage (a sustainable alternative for the heating and cooling of buildings) and that we are always looking how sustainability can be further improved during maintenance, such as by better insulating spaces. Despite this, the Executive Board is aware that the change can take time to get used to for students and staff members. Executive Board President Anton Pijpers says: Now that the government is asking us to turn down the heating and is leading by example, I believe we can't stay behind as a university. On top of that: the thermostat in Tilburg has already been at 19 degrees for years. It’s a very concrete step to reduce the CO2 footprint. I hope for students and staff's cooperation and understanding. And that whoever feels chilly is willing to put on an additional layer. Of course, we're going to have proper intermediate evaluations. We want to see what exactly we gain from it, and also hear how well it is received.

Do you have any other questions?

With the temperature reduction, UU responds to the Dutch government campaign ‘Zet ook de knop om’. UU has founded a working group that will continue to monitor the energy use for the time being. They may decide to set the temperature temporarily higher than 19 degrees in summer in order to avoid cooling rooms unnecessarily (i.e. wasting energy). Students and staff may use the FSC Request Form (TopDesk > Compliments or Complaints) with questions or feedback on the change.