It is estimated that the United Kingdom’s 115 universities could save up to £13.8 million a year if they adopted a new energy management standard from BSI (British Standards Institution). With the fluctuating price of energy one of the biggest costs for universities, a number of them have approached BSI about a new international standard – ISO 50001 – that sets out practical measures to reduce consumption and save money.
Sheffield Hallam University, one of the UK’s largest universities with around 36,400 students and 4,174 staff, implemented the standard across its facilities between January and May 2012 and has saved £50,000 on its electricity bill so far.
Although Sheffield Hallam is a large university, making its potential savings greater, if such changes were to be adopted by UK universities across the board they could expect to make similar savings to Sheffield Hallam
Introduced in June 2011, ISO 50001 has been developed with input from experts in 60 countries – making it the first internationally recognized energy management standard and the most comprehensive to date. The standard outlines practical measures organizations – from universities to global multinationals – need to implement to reduce energy usage.
These practical measures include insight on energy saving technology (such as smart meters which measure how much you use and when, helping users indirectly lower their bills) as well as guidance on how to measure and document energy consumption and build a culture of energy efficiency. By reducing universities carbon emissions BSI is also helping them meet their environmental, social and legislative obligations.
Howard Kerr, Chief Executive, BSI, says: “Each of the UK’s 115 universities could save up to £120,000 a year if they implemented the world’s newest energy management standard ISO 50001. From installing new energy management technology such as motion sensors to embedding a culture of energy efficiency, there is a lot more UK universities can do to save money. Working with Sheffield Hallam University, we have saved them a significant amount of money which means it can now allocate more resources to salaries and other essential front lines services.”