Energy and Carbon Management

Carbon Management Plan

In 2011 the University developed its first Carbon Management Plan, committing to an ambitious carbon reduction target of 43% by 2020 (compared to 2005). The plan sets out our vision:

‘For the University of Lincoln to be known as an organisation working to minimise the carbon emissions associated with all of its activities, and one that proactively engages with staff and students to establish a campus culture where low carbon choices become the standard.’

This plan is under review with an update due to be published in 2019 which will be aligned with the University’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan and Estates Strategy.

Legal Compliance

The University is required to comply with energy and carbon-related legislation, including:

  • Carbon Reduction Commitment
    • The University needs to report its carbon emissions to the Environment Agency every year. Each tonne of carbon we emit from our gas and electricity consumption incurs a cost. Each year this costs the University approx. £150,000.
  • Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
  • Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
    • This legislation has been designed to ensure that organisations regularly audit their estate for potential energy efficiency savings. We are deemed to be exempt from complying with this legislation as we are subject to public contract regulations. In 2017 the University achieved ISO50001 accreditation for our Energy Management System.
  • Heat Network Legislation
    • This legislation is concerned with accurately billing tenants that are served by a common heating system.  Only a couple of our buildings are affected by this.  We have reported them to the National Measurement and Regulation Office and await further guidance.
Display Energy Certificate ratings

Display Energy Certificate (DEC) are legally required to be on display in the entrance way to any building over 250m2 that can be accessed by the public and is occupied by a public authority. The graph below shows the current ratings for the bulk of our estate (excluding Student Village which achieves an average DEC rating of C = 70).

The DEC rating system follows the same rating rationale as EU energy efficiency ratings (which can be found on electrical goods) with an A rating being the most efficient where (A – D ratings follow a scale from 0-100). Any building that is shown as scoring 100-125 is equal to an E rating, 126-150 an F rating and 150 + is a G rating.

Alongside DECs there are also Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) these differ from DECs in that they are produced for a property when it is either built, rented or sold. The EPC acts as a guide for the prospective buyer/ occupier as to how energy efficient the building will be.

In April 2018 new legislation is being introduced that means that landlords will not be permitted to carry on letting a property if the minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating is below E. To ensure that we are in a strong position to let any part of our estate as we would wish we have decided that all of our estate should reach a minimum rating of D on all DECs and EPCs by 2021.

ISO 50001 – Energy Management System

The University of Lincoln is certified to the international ISO50001 standard for its energy management system. This helped us to drive best practice throughout the organisations and will continue to improve the University energy performance.

What does it mean for the university?

  • Improved University reputation
  • Lower impact on climate change
  • Reduced energy bills – money can be spent on other energy saving projects
  • Training opportunities – email to request our Energy Aware training course

Read our energy related policies:

ISO Infographic

Utilities Management

The university is currently supplied by Smartest Energy Gazprom, and Anglian Water. We use a brokerage service from Inenco to ensure we are getting the best price available on the market.

Download our Renewable Energy Certificate

We monitor our consumption using energy management software (eSight) that is fed by a series of loggers attached to our building-level sub-meters.

Our annual utility spend is in the region of £2.5m a year.

It is essential that we all work hard to reduce our consumption of electricity, gas, and water. There are many additional charges on utility bills – including the Climate Change Levy and Maximum Daily Demand charges – that are linked to our level of consumption. We all want our University to spend money wisely and this is where you can make a direct difference by remembering to switch off appliances and lights when not in use.

Salix Revolving Green Fund (RGF) For Energy Saving Projects

Since 2009 the Environment Team has managed an internally revolving energy efficiency fund called Salix. This relatively small fund of £125,000 is used to invest in approved energy saving technologies on campus. The savings from these projects are repaid back into the fund until the original project cost is fully repaid. These repayments are then re-invested in further projects whilst the University benefits from the ongoing energy savings long after the original investment has been repaid.

To date the revolving fund has funded 43 different projects installing a range of energy saving measures from LED lighting and controls, to insulation, new boilers, energy efficient hand driers, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls. The fund had been recycled over 3 times, investing over £430,000 in energy reduction projects.

In February 2015 £520k of external funding was secured to invest in an energy reduction programme on campus. The projects included:

  • Installing Coolphase air conditioning units to new teaching spaces in the Minerva Building;
  • New high efficiency boilers in Student Village;
  • Water flow restriction valves in Student Village;
  • Installing low flow push taps in various buildings across Brayford Campus;
  • LED lighting was installed in a range of buildings and external spaces around campus and at Riseholme Hall. This includes specialist LED ‘Fresnel’ type replacement lights in the TV Studios, making the studio fully LED (this follows an earlier project in 2012 which replaced all the background technical lighting to LED using similar external funding).
  • £50,000 of the funding has been used to improve our utilities sub-metering to help us identify future energy saving opportunities on campus and to help track the success of these projects.

The programme will be fully delivered by December 2016 and is expected to reduce annual energy consumption by just under 1 million kWh. This equates to reducing the University’s energy costs by about £65,000 and carbon emissions by almost 287 tonnes of CO2e every year.

Further case studies of projects delivered using Salix funding can be found below:

» TV Studio LED Lighting Project – Case Study

» Absence detection VRF wall controllers

66 controllers for Isaac Newton Building and 77 for Sarah Swift. This project funds the difference between the standard controllers and the enhanced absence detection controllers.

» Air compressor upgrade

This project involved the replacement of an old air compressor in the Science Building, with improved controls to reduce energy consumption. This has resulted in an estimated annual kWh saving of 13,462, saving £4,201 per annum.

» Energy efficient drying cabinets

The replacement of three inefficient drying cabinets used for drying glassware in our Joseph Banks Laboratories with smaller and highly insulated drying cabinets with timer controls has resulted in an estimated annual saving of 8,125 kWhs.

If you have any ideas for energy saving projects please email the Environment Team using the contacts on the right of this page.

Sustainable Labs

The University now has a number of science-based courses that involve the use of laboratory and IT equipment.  Vital equipment such as fume cupboards use a significant amount of energy (just one fume cupboard annually can use the same amount of energy as that consumed by a family home).  Cupboards can often be left operating even when there are no experiments running.  Here are some simple rules all lab users can follow:

  • Only store samples that are wanted (reduce the demand for cold storage);
  • ‘Shut the sash’ – when no one is working at a fume cupboard make sure the sash is closed fully;
  • Ensure chemicals are returned to their proper storage place and not stored in fume cupboards;
  • Switch off smaller electrical items and IT equipment when not in use.