University of Amsterdam: Temperature in UvA buildings to be gradually lowered

The war in Ukraine has highlighted again how dependent we are on Russian gas. In addition, action is needed to tackle climate change. That is why the Dutch Government launched a new campaign on 2 April called Zet ook de knop om (Flip the switch) – a nationwide energy-saving campaign that calls on businesses and households to save energy.

The thermostat in all Central Government buildings will permanently be set to 19 degrees. The UvA supports the campaign and has decided to follow the government’s lead and similarly turn down the thermostat.

Given that climate control varies per location and we want staff and students to get acclimatised, we will be gradually lowering the temperature in our buildings. This reduction in temperature means ultimately achieving savings of 15% on heat consumption. Staff and students who are used to 21 degrees and appreciate that temperature will, unfortunately, be less comfortable.

Natural gas phased out of campuses
Fossil fuels, such as gas, cause CO2 emissions. In order to reduce our CO2 emissions, we have been working on phasing out natural gas for some time. The Science Park, for example, will have phased out natural gas completely by 2025, with the Roeterseiland Campus following suit by 2030 – in fact, we are ahead of schedule. At the City Centre Campus, after the renovation, gas will only be used during peak load periods. However, natural gas will likewise be fully phased out of that campus by 2040. By turning down the thermostat by two degrees now, we are accelerating the process of making our university more sustainable.

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