The heating is set at 19 degrees

Zonsopkomst over een weiland op het USP met UU-gebouwen op de achtergrond. Boven het gras hangt dauw en de lucht is oranje, roze en paars.
Photo: Jelle Verhoeks (© Utrecht Science Park)

In 2022, we implemented a temperature reduction at UU. Since then, the temperature in all buildings (outside summer) has been set to 19 degrees Celsius. Now that the cold months have set in, this reduction may be noticeable for you and other students. In this post, we share the why of this reduction and give tips on how to study as comfortably as possible.

Tips for studying comfortably

To make studying at UU buildings as comfortable as possible, the following things can help:

  • an extra layer of clothing: obvious, but: put on an extra layer of (under) clothing and warmer socks;
  • close unused spaces: keeping unused rooms closed creates a kind of barrier that prevents air circulation. As a result, less heat is lost;
  • drink hot drinks: hot drinks will keep your body warm even if you have to sit still a lot. A cup of soup or broth between meals is also a good option;
  • make sure you get enough exercise: inside the building itself, but also with a walk in the open air. Even moving just a little will add warmth to your body.

Different (perceived) temperatures

The temperature is controlled centrally for each building. In every building, except in laboratories, the central thermostat is set at 19 degrees. Nevertheless, some premises or rooms may feel colder or warmer. This is usually due to environmental factors, such as certain equipment in the room, the presence or absence of people, or weather conditions.

The effect of thermostat reduction

Every degree Celsius reduction saves 7% of natural gas in a household. As a university, we use about 20 million m3 of gas a year. So reducing the temperature from 21 to 19 degrees Celsius means a saving of 1.5 to 3 million m3 gas.

To put this in perspective, an average middle-class house consumes about 1350 m3 of gas per year. This means that with a two-degree reduction, the university could supply around 1,100 households with gas.

Climate targets government and university

With the reduction, we are responding to the government campaign 'Zet ook de knop om' (Turn the swtich too). We have been working on ways to reduce gas consumption for some time. For instance, part of the buildings are heated from the thermal storage, and maintenance work always looks at how we can make them more sustainable.