Energy Carbon EFM

We believe that climate change is the single biggest threat to our planet and that we must all play a part in tackling it.

The Energy Team oversees the actions being taken by the University to meet carbon reduction targets of a 43 per cent reduction by 2020 (on a 2005 baseline). It is an ambitious challenge and we are responding with ambition and determination. We want to be a key player in leading the way in this important issue.

The way forward for us means we need to reduce our emissions down to 24,000 tonnes, while continuing to expand our activity as a University. A challenging target, but one that we are convinced can be achieved through proactive energy efficiency (below), behaviour change and self generation.

Our Energy Strategy document outlines how we aim to achieve our targets. This strategy is an initial strategy document provided by the University's consultant Arup, and it will continue to be developed as our work progresses.

Click here to read about the University's commitment to sustainability as part of its public responsibility

Our carbon targets and performance

Carbon Performance 2016-17

What we spend

The University spends around £10million on utility bills, £6.5million of that is on electricity alone. That equates to £190,000 per week - the Carbon Reduction Commitment adds an extra £650,000 per year

With utility prices likely to rise in coming years, and with students becoming ever more value-conscious and environmentally aware, now is a great time to reduce our energy use!

Performance - emissions

The University's CO2 emissions would fill:

  • The Arts Tower every 18 hours
  • A hot air balloon every 70 minutes
  • The University's annual CO2 emissions would fill:

The University's annual CO2 emissions would fill:

  • The Arts Tower 490 times
  • Royal Albert Hall 217 times
  • 7,600 hot air balloons!
Where it comes from

Around 20 per cent of our CO2 emissions came from energy use at our residences. 80 per cent were from energy use in our non-residential buildings, the bulk of which is from electricity use. The nature of their research means that the Science and Engineering faculties are particularly electricity-intensive. We are working closely with faculties to reduce emissions.

Energy efficiency

Our energy efficiency work is focused on two main strands - Salix (a "revolving" energy efficiency fund), and the Environmental Controls project (a ten-year scheme in partnership with Schneider Electric).


Achievements so far:

  • Over £1,000,000 spent on 150 successful projects including insulation, boiler replacements and lighting improvements
  • Annual savings of £560,000
  • Over 2,400t CO2 saved per year

Environmental Controls

Achievements so far:

  • Over £1,300,000 saved to date since May 2010 (aggregate savings in buildings involved)
  • Over 5,000 t CO2 saved since May 2010
  • Improvements in 38 buildings

What you can do

  • If you have an idea for energy saving, email
  • This could be
    - Lighting improvements (upgrades to lamps or sensors)
    - Pipework insulation
    - New energy efficienct equipment e.g. Boilers, ventilation units
    - Fume cupboard controls
  • Our Energy Engineer will see if it is eligible for Salix funding, based on a 5-year payback. If eligible, the fund covers the entire cost of the project.

How are the savings made?

Projects have included:
  • St Georges, Hicks and Chemistry received 90 heat sensors. Various buildings received sensors, software & variable speed drives
  • In Kroto Research Institute- running chiller and air compressors more efficiently
  • In the Information Commons- improving heating controls, voltage optimisation, heat-saving revolving doors and a “free cooling” unit on the roof

The team

Phil Riley – Energy Manager (222 9213)

Phil has responsibility for managing the team and providing specialist expertise and direction to help the University achieve its carbon reduction targets.

Peter Webber - Energy Assistant (222 9107)

Peter's responsibilities include improving energy metering and aligning centrally-controlled HVAC systems with building occupancy.