In order to continue with efforts to make our campus more sustainable, the central heating programming in the Lecture Theatre building has been changed. Now the theatres are only heated or cooled when booked, not for 12 hours a day as was the standard previously.
This is set to help the university reach its target of reducing the university’s energy consumption by 25 percent of its usage in 2013/14 by 2020/21. This change is being used as a trial, and if successful, will be implemented to the rest of the university’s buildings.
UEA uses a combined heating and power grid (CHP) to produce around 50 percent of its energy, which is said to be around 17 percent cleaner than importing electricity from the National Grid.
CHPs often burn waste to produce electricity, giving out a lot of heat as a result. This is then channelled through a system of pipes to provide central heating to buildings, meaning this heat does not have to be produced elsewhere, reducing the overall energy consumption. Two new CHPs were installed in the Chancellors Drive energy facility in June 2017 and the sustainability team are set to keep improving these technologies by investing in the university’s staff and using their skills and expertise to better the energy standard.
But as much as the sustainability and energy teams at UEA are working to reduce our energy consumption, much of the responsibility should be down to the individual. The sustainability team suggests borrowing one of their energy meters for a weekend, which would allow you individually to track your energy usage and find things you could change. They are also advocating the idea of making small changes to your routine: making sure you turn off the lights, turn your computer off or put it to sleep when not in use, and only boil the amount of water you need in the kettle; all small steps to reducing your carbon footprint.