Join in and switch off for energy awareness month

04 Nov 2008 15:35:00.000

PA 273/08   

Get involved to help cut The University of Nottingham's CO2 emissions and reduce its carbon footprint – that’s the message behind a new campaign running throughout November.

You Have The Power! is being run by the Estates Office to encourage staff and students to get energy-wise and follow a few simple steps to help reduce the amount of power used by the University, whether that means switching off lights and equipment when they are not needed, using energy-saving features available on many appliances or making the most of natural light (see below for more tips).

Last year the University spent around £8.5 million on energy – a figure that has grown significantly in recent years. Energy consumption across the institution is equivalent to 20,000 domestic houses. Taken as a whole, the English higher education sector is responsible for CO2 emissions of around 1.6million tonnes every year.

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As well as the environmental impact of using energy there are increasing associated costs. Recent years we have seen significant increases in wholesale energy prices, with increases of 225% in electricity prices and 250% in gas prices.

During the You Have The Power! campaign the Estates Department will be:

• Raising awareness of the University’s energy consumption and ways to reduce energy wastage.
• Holding a portable electric heater amnesty for unauthorised heaters.
• Working with school managers to look at the energy use in their school’s buildings.
• Working with schools to review the use of fume cupboards.
• Reviewing building management systems to optimise settings.
• Holding a Big Switch Off.
• Running a suggestion box for innovative energy saving ideas.
• Continuing running the halls’ environmental competition.

All Environmental Champions have received information and supporting resources for the campaign, so will hopefully be able to promote You Have The Power! in your school or department.

Professor Alan Dodson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Infrastructure and Environment, said: “One of the major challenges we all face in the future is managing finite resources and developing renewable sources of energy which are sustainable. The recent dramatic escalation of energy prices, and commodity prices in general, is a sharp reminder of that.

“Within the University a number of initiatives have been implemented in recent years to increase our utilisation of 'green energy' and manage consumption. The latest initiative is the You Have The Power! Energy Campaign which our Estates Department will run throughout November.

“This is designed to remind us of simple day to day changes we can all make to reduce demand.  I hope you will support this campaign. Not only will your support benefit our environmental strategy, it will also impact directly on our £8.5million annual energy bill, and any savings we can make there will of course be available for investment in other priority areas.”

Staff members can start playing their part straight away to reduce energy wastage by following these simple tips:

• Switch off lights when there is sufficient daylight or when leaving the room for prolonged periods.
• Keep the window closed if the heating is on.
• Screen savers don’t save energy – if you’re going out to lunch or a meeting, turn off your monitor.
• Switch off appliances when leaving work for the day.
• Unplug chargers once an item is charged.
• Check that door seals on fridges and freezers are in good condition.
• Make the most of natural light – open blinds and declutter window ledges.
• Remove any obstructions in front of heaters or radiators.
• Report any heating problems to the Estate Office helpdesk on 16666.
• Review the number of fume cupboards and freezers in use.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Story credits

More information is available from Gavin Scott , Environmental Manager, Estates Office, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9513572,

For more information on You Have The Power! contact the Environment Team: or visit

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

Additional resources

Estates Office

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