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Energy

energy heading

Sustainable energy is about reducing the use of non-renewable energy sources (such as fossil fuels) while increasing the use of renewable sources of energy that are replenished on a human timescale (such as sunlight, wind, rain and geothermal heat).

The University uses a large amount of energy both in buildings (for electronic devices, heating, etc.) and for transport purposes. Energy use is mainly in the form of electricity, but also natural gas, diesel and petrol, and other fuels.

Energy Strategic Plan

The University is committed to improve energy efficiency and reduce overall energy use. minimising wasteful energy consumption. The University’s Energy Strategy 2018–22 is designed to enhance energy security, reduce energy costs and consumption, and reduce energy-related carbon emissions.

Requirements for reducing energy consumption and emissions are also outlined in the University Governance framework (specifically GLP9 – Environmental Management - PDF 230KB)

Reporting

The University reports annually on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007, the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) benchmarking survey and the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) for carbon neutral certification.

Carbon neutral certification

The University of Tasmania was the second University to be certified carbon neutral in Australia in 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions from the University’s use of fuels and electricity are calculated, reported and offset annually. Staff and students can support the University’s reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by choosing energy efficient options (e.g., when purchasing new equipment) or reducing business travel.

Energy management is aimed at reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption costs through strategies, systems, procurement and development.

Some of the common tasks and services provided by energy managers are:

  • Undertaking energy audits of buildings for collation and analysis of energy data
  • Developing and implementing procedures and policies to reduce energy consumption
  • Developing and implementing energy efficient projects
  • Annual building level energy reporting
  • Development of standardised energy displays
  • Providing technical review, advice and briefing for construction projects on campus
  • Liaising with the energy retail companies

Some of the energy reduction initiatives undertaken by the University in recent years include:

  • Energy performance contracts including building management and control systems upgrades
  • Monitoring buildings and systems to ensure efficient operation
  • Installation of photovoltaic (solar electric) and solar hot water systems
  • Upgrading lighting systems to LED (light emitting diode)
  • LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and diesel fuel source replacements with natural gas
  • Ensuring all new major building projects achieve 5 Star Green Star rating certification

Conducting energy challenges and competitions for University staff and students

Energy use data

The University’s Energy Strategic Plan includes a commitment to monitoring, evaluating and reporting on key indicators, for which the University collects various data.

A summary of the outcomes from UTAS energy initiatives can be found in the following document:

By taking some simple actions, like turning off lights, printers, appliances and computer monitors when not in use, staff and students can make a difference to the energy consumption of UTAS buildings. Every kilowatt counts.  

  • Lighting is responsible for about 20% of a university’s energy consumption. Switch off lights and appliances when not required and help reduce light energy consumption by 10%
  • Switching off computer monitors when not in use may save as much energy as it takes to power 24 Tasmanian homes for one year.
  • Printers and photocopiers may sit idle for 95% of the time. Activating energy save mode rather than standby mode on just one printer or copier over a year could reduce energy consumption equivalent to a return trip by car from Hobart to Launceston.
  • Reducing heating by one degree Celsius in winter across our campuses could save enough energy to power the whole of the Inveresk campus for one year.
  • Laboratory freezers are big energy users. Setting ultra-low temperature freezers to temperatures higher than -80°C (when possible) would considerably reduce energy consumption. Electricity use doubles going from -60°C to -80°C and standard freezers save about 75% of energy over ultra-low temperature storage.

To support energy saving initiatives, please download these materials and display them in your area:

For more information on energy, contact energy.utas@utas.edu.au.