Last Wednesday we had the latest in the webinar series that Jisc is running in association with the EAUC. This one was “Efficient Buildings – or Heat and Light by Timetable“. Follow the link for a recording of the webinar or have a look at the associated guide.
One of the ‘ah-ah’ moments in this work for me was the graph that Sue Holmes, then Director of Estates at Leeds Met showed me. The point that it illustrates is that in the late afternoon and early evening, even though occupancy and use of the campus is falling away, the amount the university spends on electricity rises!
The reason for this paradox is that the university, like other big users, pays for its electricity by the half-hour. At 16:00 the cost per unit nearly doubles. This hike continues through to 19:30 when the rate returns to the standard day rate before going down to the night rate at 22:00.
The ah-ha moment was the realisation that this gave a clear pointer to the time of day to focus on to make difference to the energy footprint of the campus. By rationalising the rooms used for teaching – closing down whole floors and even buildings as the occupancy levels fall, a real difference to the energy use can be made.