Global energy crisis? TU Darmstadt takes action.

The developments in the field of energy supply do not look particularly encouraging. This is one more reason for us at TU Darmstadt to save as much energy as possible and to look for and invest in alternative energy supplies. The human factor in addition to smart technology also plays a decisive role: The behaviour of about 5,000 employees and staff and 25,000 students as energy users contributes significantly to the overall balance of energy consumption of the University. With this special topic, we would like to assist all members and associates of TU Darmstadt to reduce our energy consumption by providing tips and information including insights into TU operations.

Energy-saving package of the State of Hesse

Against the background of rising energy prices, the Hessian government presented an energy-saving package for the state administration (opens in new tab) end of July.

The goal of this energy-saving package (opens in new tab) is to significantly reduce the heating and electricity consumption of the state administration. It includes short- and medium-term measures and monitoring.

Picture: Kirsten Freier

Joining in – my contribution.

“During my lunch break, I put my laptop and my additional screen in sleep mode. This way, I save power and can continue working without delay when I am back again. The energy I save this way would be enough to make more than 1,000 cups of coffee projected over a year.” Hanna Richter, Directorate V G

It’s as easy as that: 15 tips to saving energy

  1. Change your computer settings: Reduce brightness, your eyes will readjust quickly.
  1. Set bookmarks, i.e., mark frequently opened webpages with bookmarks because each search-engine query results in servers worldwide running in overdrive and consuming huge quantities of electricity! Use alternative search engines, such as Ecosia, if possible. This initiates reforestation projects that you can support with every click you make.
  1. Avoid e-mail attachments. Place documents onto the TU server or Hessenbox, mailing the link to these documents instead.
  1. Is it really necessary to conduct a video-conference or would a conventional phone call be just fine? Discussing matters on the phone often works just as well without seeing each other face to face. In addition, less power is consumed.
  1. Check the illumination used at your unit or working/research group. Are energy-saving LEDs used everywhere or are there still some power hogs like halogen lamps used around your workplace? Discuss possible solutions as a team and with your superior. Contact the persons in charge (such as the janitors or secretary’s offices).
  1. Office rooms, corridors and stairwell are illuminated continuously? Turn off the lights when leaving rooms, passing through corridors or stairwells, if possible.
  1. Turn off electrical devices and appliances or get rid of them: Do I really need two monitors? What about the printer – can it be shared with colleagues; thus, reducing the number of devices in use? What about the refrigerator – is it necessary or is it empty and can be turned off? Is it possible to turn off peripheral servers when not in use? Get an overview and discuss matters as a team and with your superior.
  1. Use the dishwasher only if fully loaded. This reduces the number of additional cleaning cycles. If necessary, put up a sign indicating that the dishwasher is running or contains clean dishes etc. in need of being stowed away. Use the eco-friendly cycle or the glass/delicate cycle, if available.
  1. Ventilators or air-conditioning consume a lot of electricity. Where can you avoid their use? Can you cross-ventilate? Or is it OK to just run the ventilator at its lowest setting?
  1. Shutters, shades and blinds: Vigorously cross-ventilate early in the morning to let cool air in. Close the windows including shutters, shades or blinds to block out the sun. Close the shutters, shades or blinds facing east as early as the previous evening to block out the morning sun.
  1. The coffee-maker does not have to be on stand-by all day—discuss with colleagues the best times for coffee breaks and make them a nice ritual.
  1. Use multiple-socket strips to save power. In addition, they can be turned off quickly when leaving the office; for breaks, too!
  1. Remember: Turn off your computer and monitors when leaving the office for a longer period of time. Putting the computer in sleep mode is just as good while offering quick access when returning from your break.
  1. Take the stairs and leave the elevators to those who actually need them. Moving around during the day every now and then is good for our blood circulation and saves a lot of electricity.
  1. Take regular joint tours around laboratories, shop floors, experimental halls and hangars to check how and where energy can be saved and where running times of machinery and equipment can be minimised. These tours really make a big difference because they help to identify additional potential for saving energy. Once the possible measures have been agreed upon and put in place, they need to be observed by everybody!

…additional tips for saving energy at the office and at home

Manfred Efinger,
Vice President, Administration and Financial Affairs of TU Darmstadt

Changing the habits of approximately 30,000 members and associates of TU Darmstadt is just the beginning resulting in change far beyond TU Darmstadt. Let us start today!

Picture: Felipe Fernandes

Help and support for your home

Did you know…?

… that the city of Darmstadt (opens in new tab) sponsors small and large photovoltaic systems for private households and businesses?

… that you can borrow power meters at the Verbraucherzentrale Hessen (opens in new tab) (Hessian consumer advice centre) to measure how much electricity your household appliances consume? In addition, you can consult with them for advice.

… that you can receive initial advice free of charge as an owner of residential buildings in Darmstadt? For more information, go to Modernisierungskonvoi 2022 (opens in new tab).

TU Darmstadt takes action – a choice of projects

For a climate-conscious and intelligent handling of existing resources, TU Darmstadt has been breaking new ground over the past few years. The beginnings of a large-scale use of rainwater at the Campus Lichtwiese actually date back as far as 1993. We present three projects for an economic and ecologically sound campus management that are already part of everyday life at TU Darmstadt.

Together we take even more action

In the Sustainable Development Compass, the dynamic sustainability report of TU Darmstadt, you can find many other exciting projects and activities under this heading in the “Science” and “Operations” fields of activity.

Go to the “Science” and “Operations” fields of activity. (opens in new tab)