Summer 2023 Energy Performance Update
Welcome to this short update on our current energy performance and some of the energy projects undertaken over the summer months as we get ready for another busy academic year.
At the end of July, the university's electrical consumption totalled 15,587,220 kWhrs, a 4% reduction when compared to the same period in 2022 and a fantastic 7% reduction on our baseline period of 2016-2018.
Chart 1: Shows the Spread of Electrical Users across the Estate.
Despite an increase in research activities across the Estate we have managed to consistently reduce our electrical consumption.
Across the Estate, we have seen reductions in electrical consumption and most buildings are operating at historically low levels of energy use. The exceptions to the trend are the Kane Building and Boole Library, both of which have seen a significant increase in activity and the Boole library's case, extended opening hours. The UCC community have been fantastic in switching off, submitting ideas and sending in reports of energy wastage as every action matters.
Chart 2: Shows the energy performance of our large energy consumers.
Several energy conservation projects have been undertaken over the summer months. Chris Collins and the electrical team have replaced 163 external lamp fittings with new LED ‘soft lighting’. The team took extra care in selecting lamps that could fit on the existing light fittings eliminating the need for completely new fixtures and ensuring the lamps were below 3000K to minimise any negative impact on the biodiversity around the campus. The fittings deliver a more uniform light pattern while also saving 54,000 kWh per year. The team have also continued to roll out LED lights internally, operating a rolling replacement program across the campus.
Aidan O’Dwyer of the minor works team replaced the ground source heat pump in the Glucksman and undertook a number of ventilation upgrades across the Estate to improve indoor air quality while also reducing heat losses. Paul Williams is overseeing the revamp of Ard Patrick, using low-carbon materials such as natural hemp insulation. The project will mirror the approach taken in No 6 Carrigside, installing electrical heating, PV panels and battery storage.
New building management systems were installed in the Glucksman Gallery to complement the heat pump replacement project and new modern building management systems were also fitted to the Food Science heating systems and the Cooperage building.
In the houses, a radiator flushing and cleaning campaign was completed to ensure that the radiators will operate as effectively as possible. It is also planned to roll out a radiator valve replacement program over the coming months, which will give occupants control over their local office environment while at the same time reducing energy waste.
Over in WGB and Brookfield, Eamonn Connaughton and the team continue to upgrade existing lighting units to LEDs and are about to embark on the installation of a high-temperature heat pump to provide domestic hot water in Brookfield– a first for UCC.