Universities turn down thermostat to battle energy crisis
Universities are making adjustments to soaring energy prices by turning down the heat and investing in sustainable alternatives. Students and university staff are advised to bring warm sweaters to campus, according to Nu.nl.
The thermostat is now set to 19 degrees, two degrees colder than past years, in many universities. However, this cost-cutting method is only a start. Universities are also looking into renewable energy sources like solar panels or energy-savers like LED lights, Nu.nl reports. Closing buildings earlier in the day is also an option.
"Do at work whatever you do at home," Leiden University has advised. "Turn off the lights when you're not in a room, don't run a dishwasher until it's completely full."
But universities are not just lowering indoor temperatures to save money –– sometimes making things warmer is the solution. "For example, we are also going to look at the deep-freeze in our labs, which are at -80, but they might also be able to go to -70," said Dick Jager, head of the energy task force at the University of Groningen.
Despite these initiatives, universities still anticipate spending millions of extra euros on gas and electricity next year, according to Nu.nl. For example, the University of Amsterdam predicts it will spend around 3 million euros extra on gas and light in 2023. The University of Groningen thinks this number could rise to 48 million euros in a worst-case scenario.
In recent weeks, many businesses and organizations have been forced to reckon with rising energy costs. Ice skating rinks are opening despite concerns about energy prices, but warn they may not stay open without government assistance. Schools will also turn the heating down and government buildings will set the temperature two degrees lower in the winter.