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Create and apply standards to reduce energy use

Many steps are being taken to reduce our energy use. We have expanded the Energy and Sustainability Team with more people monitoring our energy consumption than ever before. The team, alongside academic colleagues, analyse metering data from across the University to identify patterns of unnecessary energy usage and seek to make high impact interventions. We have created the Warwick Standard for the development of new buildings and retrofitting of existing buildings based on the 1 recognised Passivhaus standard.

Case Study 1: Building Energy Management System (BEMS)

In 2022 the Estates Department led a review and recommissioning of the University's Building Energy Management System (BEMS) that would result in savings of over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2023. To put this in context, this is equivalent to the emissions generated from a petrol car driving around the world 163 times.

The aim of the project was simple – to ensure consistent and appropriate building temperature set points and time schedules across all buildings in line with a new energy usage policy – which can be found hereLink opens in a new window. The project involved greater collaboration between estates energy and project teams, maintenance functions and building end users than ever before.


Case Study 2: Warwick Arts Centre

The Energy Team support many University Departments to reduce their energy and water consumption, one of which is the Arts Centre. Over the last couple of years, we have worked closely with the Operational Team to understand how the building is used, what they use energy for and when, and how they can operate more efficiently. Through this process we have been able to recommend and implement many changes to save energy, water, and carbon. As well as the interventions the Energy Team have identified, by providing more data to the Arts Centre team they too have identified issues and are now able to verify that the changes they make to their building systems are really making a difference to their energy, water, and carbon performance. Through this process of active management and with no investment in new facilities, we have prevented emissions equivalent to over 59 tonnes of carbon dioxide since we started recording in April 2022. This is roughly the same as the emissions that would come from driving around the world nine times in a petrol car.

This process has also helped identify projects that, through small levels of investment, can save significant amounts of energy over the long term. We’re building up a pipeline of projects for the future and this year we plan to upgrade the Mead Gallery ventilation system, so the energy intensive processes required to protect works of art are only used when there is Artwork in the Gallery. This project is expected to reduce annual emissions which are equivalent to over 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the same as driving around the world three times every year.

Ben Suffolk, Operations Manager at Warwick Arts Centre, says: "The Arts Centre Operations team have been working closely with the Energy/Data Team for the past two years. We’ve been able to monitor water, gas/heat and electricity consumption with acute detail, and deliver on interventions for making the building more efficient and sustainable long-term. For example, one of these interventions on our Cinema auditoria has avoided extra carbon of 16.99t CO2e this year out of the 59 Tonnes total avoided."


Passivhaus1 is a standard for thermal comfort and energy efficiency in buildings, aiming to create structures that require minimal energy for heating and cooling.