On 19 July 2022, the Executive Board of TU Berlin unanimously passed a series of urgent energy-saving measures to counter the severe energy crisis we are facing.
The decision was also taken to establish a task force for energy issues (Task Force Energy), which was set up just a few days later on 22 July 2022. The task force will meet regularly and is responsible for coordinating and planning action on behalf of the Executive Board.
The Executive Board’s decisions have been taken in response to the urgent need for action arising from the energy crisis and the dramatic developments anticipated in the gas market.
At 19 million euros, TU Berlin’s energy costs for 2021 already represented a substantial part of its budget. Spending for 2022 will be much higher as a result of the heavy increases in energy prices starting last fall. Depending on the situation, further dramatic price increases are also expected.
With 33,500 students and approximately 7,300 staff, TU Berlin receives a subsidy of 354 million euros from the State of Berlin. The University manages more than 100 buildings with a total space of 600,000 m². This makes it one of the biggest universities of technology in Germany.
“It is our responsibility and duty to act immediately and to plan for the future. We will be looking at every opportunity to make savings. We ask all TU Berlin members to actively and consciously save energy and call on local politicians to support us as an organization. On its own, the budget provided by the State of Berlin, which has not been sufficient to cover costs for a number of years now, will not enable us to cope with the financial difficulties we face. We do not have the money to renovate and adapt our buildings to the challenges of climate protection,” says TU Berlin president Professor Dr. Geraldine Rauch.
“With the support of TU Berlin's Energy Management, we will proceed strategically and implement measures as soon as we can. Every kilowatt hour we save counts. The decisions we have taken are the result of many discussions and the participative development of proposals from within the University. Our Council for Sustainable Development is very active and many initiatives within our faculties and among our students have already been developed as projects. We would like to express our thanks for the commitment that everyone has shown. These initiatives and our scientific expertise in the areas of climate and energy form the basis for a quicker implementation of energy-saving measures,” says Professor Dr. Sophia Becker, vice president for sustainability, internal communication, transfer and transdisciplinarity, who initiated the packet of immediate measures working together with Lars Oeverdieck, vice president for administration, and Department IV - Building and Services Management.
Immediate measures include areas such as room air conditioning, heating and hot water preparation, lighting, efficiency gains in IT infrastructure, more efficient use of space in lecture halls and temporary building closures around the turn of the year.
In addition, participatory measures will be implemented and targeted communication introduced. The situation also calls for a change in the behavior of everyone at the University. Decentralized energy officers will help involve users in the faculties and other decentralized units and collect and evaluate proposals for additional action.
Further measures, some of them drastic, are also being examined as part of a crisis plan to be drawn up for the fall and winter of 2022/23.