It has been the university’s objective for a long time to use its resources consciously and save energy wherever possible. On this site you will find tips on how to save energy and how university members can make their contribution.
Offices are heated and aired according to their individual use. Reducing the room temperature by 1 degree Celsius already saves a considerable amount of energy. It is therefore important to correctly adjust the thermostat on the radiator: Stage 2 corresponds to a temperature of around 17 degrees Celsius, stage 3 to a temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius. The energy saving regulation issued by the German government (Verordnung zur Sicherung der Energieversorgung) has now become effective. It requires offices to have a temperature of no more than 19 degrees Celsius during the heating season 2022/
Many students stay at the university long after lectures have ended. They use weekday evenings or weekends to study at the University Library. The library provides a modern, supportive learning environment and access to technical literature, which contributes significantly to academic success. That is why the libraries in the Schloss Schneckenhof, Schloss Ehrenhof, A3 and A5 remain open daily until 11 p.m., and until midnight during the examination period. During opening times, the libraries and the corridors leading to them need to be sufficiently illuminated to ensure the safety of the library visitors. From time to time, evening events in other university areas (especially in the Ostflügel of the Schloss) will require lighting.
New or renovated buildings are equipped with LED lighting only. Currently, the share of LED lighting at the university is at 25 percent. Most of the time, it is not possible to cheaply replace existing lighting with LED retrofit lamps, that is why most of the lamps inclusive of electrics have to be modernized.
In general, the sinks in the university buildings are only connected to cold water pipes. In the few areas with central hot water supply the temperatures are not reduced. Lowering the water temperature would increase the risk of multiplication of Legionella and other pathogenic bacteria in the drinking water installation. The small water heaters in the kitchenettes remain running for hygienic reasons.
To accomplish the goal of carbon neutrality, the university and the state government of Baden-Württemberg plan to implement more climate protection measures, such as switching to LED lighting, installing more photo-voltaic systems, and modernizing the university buildings. Generally, such measures can only be implemented through a fundamental renovation of the university buildings. The state office for property and construction (Vermögen und Bau), and therefore the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, is responsible for the renovation.
In September 2022, the state government of Baden-Württemberg adopted a 5-point plan to save energy in state institutions, explicitly addressing higher education institutions. The plan includes measures regarding heat supply, energy-efficient building renovation, electricity saving, optimized use of rooms as well as training and information campaigns. The university is required to implement these measures where possible.
Fortunately, the University of Mannheim uses district heating, a heating method that is almost independent (also indirectly) of gas resources. In addition, our lecture halls and buildings are very energy-efficient, compared to other universities in Baden-Württemberg. But saving energy is the order of the day—that also applies to the university and its members. Saving energy is imperative in order to use limited global resources such as fossil fuels responsibly, to protect the climate, and, since 24 February 2022, to take a stance against the brutal war against Ukraine. Different types of energy are connected by a network of communicating vessels. If you are saving electricity now, you are also helping to fill up gas storage facilities which will become even more crucial once the temperatures drop. Due to soaring energy prices, this is also necessary from an economic point of view.
Do you have any further questions or ideas about how the university can save energy? Do not hesitate to send us an e-mail: Lara Reimer. We kindly ask for your understanding that due to a high amount of e-mails we cannot answer all inquiries directly.