New energy initiatives to cut costs at Tech

Aarhus University is facing a significant challenge due to higher gas and electricity bills and the financial development in the wake of the war in Ukraine. At Tech, we need to find energy savings, and targeted efforts to reduce the faculty's energy costs are being implemented with immediate effect.

Photo: Ida Marie Jensen, AU Foto

Like the rest of Aarhus University, Tech finds itself in a challenging financial situation due to the rising energy prices causing significant increases in electricity bills.

The faculty management team at Tech has therefore decided that targeted initiatives must be launched with immediate effect in order to reduce the faculty's cost level.

"It’s crucial that we act now and with due diligence. We need to work together in order to secure operating savings and a more efficient energy usage in our buildings in order to help stabilise the faculty's financial situation in 2023 and 2024. Maintaining a healthy financial situation is a joint task for everyone at AU, and at Tech, we need to implement significant energy savings that can help reduce the energy costs of our daily activities," says Eskild Holm Nielsen, dean at the Faculty of Technical Sciences.

Energy savings in day-to-day activities

Since early June, the price of electricity and gas has increased dramatically, and with the winter season fast approaching, the heating bill is expected to increase even further. At Tech, efforts to reduce power consumption are already in full swing, says Bent Lorenzen, estate manager at the Nat-Tech administrative centre:

“It’s imperative that everyone does their part in reducing the energy consumption at the faculty. This will require changes in the daily routines for everyone at the faculty, and we all have to start thinking about our electricity consumption whenever we are at the university. This is crucial if we are to succeed in lowering our energy costs," says Bent Lorenzen.

“Turn off the lights”

Bent Lorenzen explains that one of the important initiatives is to encourage employees at Tech to think more about their own daily routines:

“What we actually need is for everyone to adjust their behaviour. This could be something as simple as turning off the lights, printers, coffee machines, info boards, IT equipment and other machines when we don't use them. This alone can make a difference," says the estate manager.

At Tech, the faculty management team plans to implement various initiatives right away, including:

  •  Behavioural adjustment – reduce the use of lights, printers, coffee machines, IT equipment and machines
  • Closing buildings at weekends and at night from 18:00-06:00. Exceptions can be made, e.g. in connection with animal husbandry or very specific research projects.
  • Cleaning up freezing and cold storage facilities, streamlining their use, reducing the number of active units and replacing existing freezers with the most energy-efficient freezers
  • Shutdown of equipment that is rarely used
  • Hallway and office lighting set to short active periods
  • If possible, shutdown of greenhouses and climatic chambers 
  • Higher temperatures in ventilation systems and cold stores
  • Lower indoor temperatures when the heating season starts in accordance with the Danish governments energy-saving plans
  • It is expected that the faculty will be closed between Christmas and New Year

Work to implement the various energy initiatives will be discussed in the relevant fora at Tech’s departments and centres.

“I am convinced that we will be able to meet this challenge together and secure financial stability, also in the coming years, as this is crucial for our continued growth and development at Tech”, says Eskild Holm Nielsen.