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Press Release - 20 December 2006

University challenges staff in Swindon to save energy

The University of Bath in Swindon is asking its staff to help reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions, as part of the University’s Our Big Energy Challenge.

The University hopes its staff’s action on energy awareness can help to cut energy consumption on campus by at least 10 per cent over the next three years.

In the coming months its staff will be briefed on simple ways to save energy at work as well as at home, either through a web-based training package or face-to-face training sessions.

The University is looking for staff at the Oakfield campus to take on the role of ‘energy champion’, to inform and advise colleagues on saving energy.

Peter Phelps, the University’s Energy and Environment Manager said: “The energy and water bill for the University of Bath as a whole is just under £5 million a year and we emit 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from our gas and electricity use. That’s enough to fill 4,000 hot air balloons.

“Savings of at least 10 per cent are achievable in any organisation simply through improved energy awareness and changing day-to-day working habits. There are many fairly obvious ways to save energy, which can easily get forgotten in a busy working day. Many of these ideas can also be used by staff and students at home to help cut household bills.”

Our Big Energy Challenge is part-funded by the Treasury and was developed by Bristol’s Centre for Sustainable Energy. It aims to reduce the amount of energy used by key public sector organisations in and around Bath.

The project involves Bath & North East Somerset Council and its partners in the Local Strategic Partnership. Together the organisations employ more than 14,000 staff. Their combined energy consumption costs are more than £6.2 million and they produce more than 78,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Our Big Energy Challenge aims to save £5 million in energy costs over the next six years and cut nearly 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The project began on the University of Bath campus earlier in the year, with an analysis of the best high-tech monitoring and metering equipment which will be installed to find out which buildings could use energy more efficiently.

Professor Jane Millar, University Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Developments) said: “As a leading institution with an international reputation for teaching and research in the environmental and energy fields, we have to ensure we also seek to practice what we teach. We as universities should be exemplars of best environmental practice and take our responsibilities to reduce our contribution to climate change seriously. I think that this project, with the support of the staff and students, gives us a real chance to make a difference.”

To find out about more about the project and get ahead on energy saving ideas, staff and students can visit the new 'What can I do?' estates web page in Related Links.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: