Universiteit Leiden

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It's getting cold in here!

29 September 2022

It's getting cold in here!

With the arrival of the first cold week after a beautiful summer the university buildings are suddenly quite frigid. The installations are slowly waking up from hibernation and take some time to start up. There have been quite a few complaints about this. However, the university buildings will not get warmer than 19 degrees this year, because of the familiar reasons (climate, war, high energy prices). This policy has been deployed in April by the Executive Board and you can read about it in Leiden University turns the heating down by two degrees.

Anticipating the energy campaign that starts 10 October, sustainability coordinator of Real Estate Leiden University Aranka Virágh informs us of the following:

The heating installations follow the opening hours of the university buildings and turn off automatically at night. Especially after the weekend it takes time to warm up the buildings again, so the monday mornings will be chilly (especially in the older buildings).
Real Estate Leiden University is working hard in order to make the buildings more sustainable, especially the buildings that are poorly insulated and badly retain heat. For this we follow a strict plan (the ‘Energytransition route’, which you can find in the right column of the Sustainability File on the website). This concerns a multi-year plan which also continues after 2030. On short term we expect everybody to be self-sufficient preferably following some tips on the below.

Tips on working more energy efficient and comfortable

A few tips in order to make the 19-degrees policy as comfortable as possible are:

  • Dress warmly, because this is the most effective way to stay warm.
  • Try to keep doors closed in order to keep the existing warmth inside rooms and buildings as much as possible.
  • Put the adjustable radiators to a maximum setting of 2-3, this way everyone in the building can heat their office.
  • When leaving the building, check whether the radiator in your office can be turned off.
  • Participate in becoming energy efficient by checking whether empty offices, where avoidable, are not being unnecessarily heated or lit.

Energy contract Leiden University

Apart from the energy campaign, three students of our university are doing behavioural research (in the Gorlaeus building they are researching the energy efficiency of the fume hoods, in the Pieter de la Court and in the KOG they are researching the turning off of radiators and lights in unused office spaces). Leiden University is currently still paying the old energy prices, but in 2023 we have to get new contracts. With the enormous energy consumption of our university (3.200 natural gas households [approximately 1200m 3] and almost 17.000 electricity-based households (approximately 2400 kWh per year]), we are keeping a close eye on market prices and are investing heavily in energy reduction, in anticipation of the expected price increase.

Energy transition monitor

In the energy transition monitor of Leiden University you can check the energy consumption of your building. As of 10 october this monitor will have been actualised as the start of our energy campaign. Let us work together, with a warm heart for the university, to get our buildings through the energy crisis.

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