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Saving Energy 

Video: Philipps-Universität Marburg, Still current in 2023/24: President Prof. Dr. Thomas Nauss on energy conservation in the winter semester 2022/23 (Video in German).

Germany's energy security can only succeed if we work together. As Philipps-Universität Marburg, we are facing the energy crisis with confidence, taking the crisis as an opportunity to rethink our approach even faster, and together with more than 26,500 university members, we are setting an example of saving energy!

Our goal: 27% energy savings

The state of Hesse has set itself the goal of using at least 5% less electricity and 15% less heating energy in a circular decree (see Runderlass der Landesregierung, German, PDF). Together and in solidarity, we can achieve even more. In view of our 500th university anniversary in 2027, we aim at 27% for energy savings.

Saving energy together

Philipps-Universität has five central guidelines, the measures of which are issued by the Presidential Board and are obligatory for all university members.

(1) We heat consciously

We set our heating thermostats during the day to a maximum level of 2 to 3 (20 °C) for light activities while sitting or standing, or to a maximum level of 2 (16 °C) for moderately heavy physical activities while standing. When we leave the room for a longer period of time or at the end of the day, we turn the thermostat level to 1 to 2 or "moon". The temperature should not drop below 16 °C. In case of longer absence, set the frost protection function (1 or *). Entrance areas, corridors and staircases are not heated. Therefore, we also keep our room doors closed. The use of additional heaters for higher temperatures is a no-go.

(2) We ventilate cleverly

We build upon two- to three-minute shock ventilation everywhere where there is no automatic ventilation. If we can manually control the heating in the room, we turn the thermostat to "off" 15 minutes before airing.

(3) We switch off 

When we leave the room, we switch off the lights and all electrical devices that are not needed in our absence. We put computers and monitors into sleep mode during breaks or when we do not need them for a longer period of time, and we turn them off at the end of the working day. And also tea kitchens and hallways do not need light when we do not use them.

(4) We use potentials

We extend the heating setback periods from 12 to 14 hours daily and also extend them throughout the weekend and the event-free period for Christmas from Dec. 24, 2023, to Jan. 5, 2024. Monday through Friday, we will control the heating time slots in each building so that the ten-hour daily heating phase is provided when most people are present. For low occupancy during the off-peak hours of the flextime periods, the lowered supply temperature is also sufficient to heat the few offices Monday through Friday in accordance with the user's occupancy. In the evening hours and on weekends, we concentrate our events in a few buildings and accept travel distances for this purpose. On weekends, we work in one of our open libraries or at home and leave our heaters on thermostat level 1 or "moon" throughout.

We also exploit potential in electricity consumption and operate equipment at very good capacity. This applies to the volumes of, for example, freezers, drying cabinets or dishwashers as well as to decentralized servers. By coordinating usage times or organizing equipment usage across AGs or institutes, we can reduce runtimes, increase individual utilization and switch off equipment that is not needed.

(5) We feel responsible

We take responsibility for all spaces at the university, use resources consciously, and act in solidarity. Whether it's our own office, corridors or shared teaching spaces - we always act as if we were the last ones in the section of the building and take care of the heating, windows, lights and electrical equipment when we leave.

For central library areas, special regulations apply with regard to the reduction of night-time temperatures in accordance with opening hours. Special rules also apply to legally regulated special areas, for example in the area of animal husbandry and in clinical areas. During the event-free period around Christmas, individual buildings may be exempt from the temperature reduction from January 2 to January 5, 2024, if an increased workload is expected here.

More information can be found online on the page "Ways to save energy" and in our brochure "Energie sparen! Ein Leitfaden für das Büro" (German, PDF)

What else we do

A working group on emergency plans has been set up to coordinate our energy-saving program, involving the utilities for electricity, heating, air conditioning/ventilation and water supply, and the property management department. Measures will be examined, prioritized and effects evaluated for each building. This also involves close alignment with the management for the Corona conservation measures.

Some other technical energy-saving measures in the winter semester:

  • Energy is saved by centrally lowering room temperatures in rooms and buildings with ventilation systems and by lowering supply temperatures in buildings with radiator-only heating.
  • Changing the control of ventilation systems from automatic to presence-only operation allows fresh air ventilation when needed - during the event.
  • Indoor and outdoor lighting is limited to shorter periods; pathways remain lit at all times.
  • Energy checks are carried out in all buildings at the beginning of the heating period by building management staff.

Technically, we are well positioned. In addition, a large part of the heat is supplied by biomass. Even larger quantities of heating oil reserves are available if gas for peak-load boilers on the Lahn hills should become scarce. Universities have also been designated as critical infrastructure, allowing for prioritized energy supply to properties in the Lahn Valley. However, it would be negligent and lacking in solidarity to blithely continue operations as before. In the time of crisis as well as afterwards, the conscious and adapted use of energy must be the basis of our actions.

Information, ideas and suggestions

The sustainability office provides all university members with monthly updates on our consumption data and the success of our collective efforts.

Do you have further ideas and suggestions on how energy could be saved? Then feel free to send us an email to .