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The University of Southampton
Sustainability

Carbon & energy

The University of Southampton is committed to managing its carbon emissions and in particular to use energy more efficiently. We have a target to reduce our carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 (based on a 2005/06 baseline).

Energy efficiency improvements and carbon reduction initiatives are supported through a dedicated carbon management fund. You can email any project ideas to us.

Good energy management identifies where energy is being wasted and finds ways to use less (conservation) or puts measures in place to make a process more efficient. A large variety of activities take place across the University with varying degrees of energy intensity. The diversity makes energy management a challenge, but the combined efforts of several departments, faculties and teams help us towards our ambitious carbon emissions reduction target.

Monitoring Consumption

Electrical Meters
Boldrewood Innovation Campus Electrical Meters

The University has an Automatic Metering System (AMS) – an electronic way to collect meter readings.

Over 90 data loggers collect data automatically from over 600 electricity, gas, heat and water meters. A further 250 electricity and water meters are manually read every month.

All of this data is recorded in the AMS, which plays a vital role in the University’s Carbon Management Plan – the data collected enables us to investigate energy and water usage, identify where savings can be made and monitor the progress of energy saving projects.

 

Analysing Consumption

To manage energy effectively you have to know how much energy is being used, where it’s used and why.

Consumption
Building Management System Controls Schematic

The University collects half-hourly electricity consumption data for almost all of its buildings, which allows us to analyse consumption in detail.

There are several important considerations when analysing our energy consumption data:

The typical building use, hours of occupancy and building services can greatly impact energy demand. For example an office building may have a similar electrical profile of use from day to day, whereas a lab based building can have varying electrical demand depending on the experiments being carried out.

There are several important considerations when analysing our energy consumption data:

The typical building use, hours of occupancy and building services can greatly impact energy demand. For example an office building may have a similar electrical profile of use from day to day, whereas a lab based building can have varying electrical demand depending on the experiments being carried out.

Automatic Metering System
Automatic Metering System Analysis Software

Meters require validation before they can be used. The validation process is complex and involves checking the programming, wiring and reads of each meter to ensure that the collected data is accurate. Additionally, one meter can record data from multiple buildings so we need to break this down to identify how much energy or water is being used in each building.

Data robustness must always be considered, and often a number of 'sense checks' are carried out to assess whether meter reads appear reasonable. We also compare data with industry standard benchmarks and compare it with our own data from previous years.

Students and staff can view AMS data online – if you would like access, please contact us by email with the details of the building(s) you are interested in.

Energy Performance

Day-to-day building use accounts for more than 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. To promote improvements in the energy performance of buildings, and in response to the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the UK government introduced the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.

Display Energy Certificate

Display Energy Certificates

In line with these regulations, the University displays a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) in the reception or lobby of any building with a floor area above 250m2. The DEC shows a rating based on the building’s annual carbon dioxide emissions. Audits are carried out and reports produced which include proposals for energy management improvements.

 

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy Performance Certificates

The University has Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for all of the buildings it constructs. The EPC provides an energy efficiency rating based on the potential performance of the building.

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