Impact of Blackout energy saving campaign

02 January 2015

Blackout is part of a series of sustainability campaigns coordinated by the NUS
Blackout is part of a series of sustainability campaigns coordinated by the NUS

On Friday the 14th November, 43 student volunteers and 9 staff volunteers took part in the NUS sustainability initiative “Blackout”. Blackout is an energy saving campaign which tackles unnecessary energy wastage by turning off all non-essential office equipment over the weekend period.

The buildings surveyed by the student and staff volunteers were Penbryn P5, Cledwyn, Parry Williams and the Visualisation Centre. Organiser Chris Woodfield, Environmental Graduate Trainee here, said “It was very positive and inspiring to see so many people interested and willing to be part of the event.”

Averaging across all the buildings surveyed, there was a 22% reduction in electricity consumption over the Blackout weekend. If this was carried out across the whole of Penglais Campus for every weekend throughout the year could save £60,000. In addition, this could save 312 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere, as well as a further £5,000 through the Carbon Reduction Commitment which places a charge per tonne of carbon emitted.    

These figures highlight the significant environmental and financial impact simple actions such as staff turning off their computers before heading home from work can have. The table below shows the individual results for the buildings surveyed.

Energy data

 

P5

Parry Williams

Cledwyn

Visualisation

Total

Average baseline* electric consumption before BO (kWh)

495

1037

240

3958

5730

BO electric consumption (kWh)

372

769

158

3869

5168

% saving (kWh)

25

26

34

2

22

Financial data

Average baseline* cost (£) before BO

54

114

26

435

630

BO weekend cost (£)

41

85

17

426

568

£ saving over BO weekend

14

29

9

10

62

Potential saving (£) over whole year

704

1533

470

511

3218

*Baseline data is based on the previous four weekends prior to the Blackout (BO) event. Financial (£) data is based on current electricity prices (1 kWh = £0.11)

Chris adds, “It was really encouraging to see students and staff working together to carry out this simple exercise of auditing and turning off equipment, such as computers, laptops and monitors. The next Blackout event is scheduled in for next year, and I hope to expand the switch off to include Llandbadarn and Gogerddan Campuses”.

The onus is on more staff to get involved and take these simply daily actions of turning off their office equipment. The Blackout event highlights that individually and collectively we can all contribute to making a positive difference to our impacts on the environment – in simple, manageable, non-time consuming ways.

These simple actions all contribute to the University’s Carbon Management Strategy which outlines a 30% reduction by 2030. The executive summary of the Carbon Management Strategy, developed by Janet Sanders, Energy Advisor (Estates Development Department) can be found on the following link http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/sustainability/sutainability-policies/ .    

The following two infographics have been produced to visually show the impact of the Blackout event – click on the following links to find out more.

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/3586218-blackout1

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/3881568-blackout2   

To keep up-to-date with other sustainability initiatives, check out our new sustainability webpages and the Sustainability at Aberystwyth Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1492411414351040/. Or feel free to contact the Sustainability Team at sustainability@aber.ac.uk



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