Åsa Borin, universitetsdirektör. Foto: Rickard Kilström
Åsa Borin, University Director. Photo: Rickard Kilström,

Like other government agencies, we have been ordered by the Government to take all possible and appropriate measures to save energy. This is in response to the energy crisis we are facing due to a natural gas shortage. The energy crisis has led to skyrocketing electricity prices, something we are all well aware of. We have been tasked with reporting the amount of electricity purchased to the Swedish Energy Agency each month, and to take measures to reduce energy consumption. The reporting is to be done monthly from October until the end of April 2023.

As we rent our premises, mostly from Akademiska Hus, we are in dialogue with them to see what measures can be taken. Some quick measures are to review the operating hours of the ventilation systems in the buildings that do not have laboratory activities. Reducing the operating time by one hour per day is estimated to save 74,000 kWh per year. Closing the Allhuset building on the weekends will save 110,000 kWh per year. The majority of our buildings have district heating, so lowering the temperature in these buildings will not produce any energy savings. However, we do have some buildings with geothermal heating. Lowering the temperature in these by one degree will save about 74,000 kWh per year. These are the measures that we plan to implement.

In addition, of course, there are the energy savings we can achieve by changing our behaviour. For those of us who grew up in the 1970s, it is easy to think back to the energy crisis we went through then and the campaigns that were carried out. We were urged daily by our parents not to waste hot water and to turn off the lights when leaving a room. These are things that still apply today. Added to this are the developments that have taken place since then, with all the electronic devices we use in our daily life. We leave many of these devices in “standby” mode, perhaps without giving them a second thought. By actively switching equipment off until the next time we need it, we can make huge energy savings at a workplace the size of Stockholm University.

Changing our behaviour and saving energy in this way is something that we can all help with. Saving energy also keeps our costs from increasing as much as they would otherwise, given the high electricity prices. This benefits not only us as a university, but also society as a whole.

This text is written by Åsa Borin, University Director. It appears in the section ”Words from the University’s senior management team”, where different members of the management team take turns to write about topical issues. The section appears in every edition of News for staff which is distributed to the entirety of the University staff.