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Energy saving tips

Saving energy at the University and at home

Our everyday activities generate emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases which lead to climate change, possibly the greatest challenge facing humanity.

Reducing energy consumption decreases the emission of greenhouse gases - it also saves money and resources. Here are some ways you can reduce energy use:


Rooms are often over lit. Do you need lights switched on when you have natural lighting and you are looking at a computer screen? Does the whole room need to be lit, if it is only partially occupied?

  1. Turn off unnecessary lights, especially when you are the last person to leave. Don’t assume that lights will turn off automatically.
  2. Avoid having blinds closed and lights turned on. Make the most of natural light by adjusting the blinds to cut the glare while providing light.
  3. Many lights have dimming controls – you can reduce lighting levels to save energy.
  4. The University is gradually replacing all inefficient lights. The largest savings have been from replacing halogen spotlights with LEDs. Do the same at home if you can.

Heating and cooling

 In most locations, heating and cooling account for the greatest use of energy.

  1. Where fitted with controls, radiators should be set no higher than “3” or rooms will become stuffy and energy will be wasted. A comfortable temperature for most rooms is 21- 22ºC – set thermostats accordingly. A 1º reduction can save 10% on heating bills.
  2. Wearing extra layers of thin clothing will help you stay both warm and comfortable without the need for additional heating. Dress for the weather and the time of year!
  3. Make sure external doors are properly closed after you, especially in colder periods.
  4. If it’s too warm, make sure radiators are turned off before opening windows and doors to provide natural ventilation. Air conditioning should be used only as a last resort - it consumes up to 100 times more energy than a desk fan. Sometimes, we have seen both radiators and air conditioning in use at the same time – a huge waste of energy!

Other electrical equipment

  1. Set your computer to “sleep mode” when leaving your desk.
  2. Switch off your equipment before leaving work (not network printers/copiers)
  3. Take the stairs instead of the lift whenever possible.
  4. Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need.
  5. If you have access to a dishwasher, make sure it is full before you turn it on. Use the ECO programme whenever possible
  6. Do you have equipment left on standby? It costs a typical home over £200 a year.


The average UK individual’s carbon emissions from travel are higher than from their home (heating, lighting, cooking, electrical etc.) Although it is not always convenient or easy to avoid using a car, please consider other options. As well as cost savings, there are often considerable health benefits.

  1. Consider walking, cycling or using public transport whenever possible.
  2. The University has 8 new bikes available for staff to hire, free of charge. Check availability and reserve by using WARPit.
  3. Solent Health and an active Bicycle Users’ Group (BUGS) support cyclists at the University. Facilities recently include new covered secure shelters, lockers and showers.
  4. Can you share a lift? Preferential parking arrangements may be available for long-term lift-sharers.
  5. Use a small car, travel fewer miles, share when possible (and save money).
  6. Minimise air travel - one return flight from the U.K. to the U.S. can exceed the per-person carbon emission from a year’s car use.


Reducing, reusing and recycling waste also saves energy as we don't need to extract, transport and transform raw materials to make new products.

  1. The largest avoidable cause of waste at the University is contamination of recyclable materials with food. Please make sure food waste is disposed of properly.
  2. Another major source of waste is the purchase of bottled water. Buy bottled water just once – then refill the bottle with water from a tap.
  3. Remember: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Follow the suggestions here.
  4. Staff should use “WARPit, the Surplus Store” to find or advertise unwanted office furniture or consumables around the University. Register here.


Page last updated on Wednesday 21 September 2016 at 5.45pm.


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