TU Berlin Responds to the Energy Crisis

The University passes immediate measures to counter the acute energy crisis / Task Force Energy established

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.

Statements

“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 urgent measures working together with Lars Oeverdieck, vice president for administration, and Department IV - Building and Services Management.

"Sharp increases in energy prices lead to much higher costs for us. We need to take action. Over the past months and years, we have been examining and implementing energy-saving options and will continue to do so. We want to equip our campus to be a living laboratory for climate protection measures and show what can be done. We also want to appoint decentralized energy managers to identify and initiate energy-saving measures in our labs and offices. For a university as large as TU Berlin with some 100 buildings, this measure is important to provide us with valuable tips and advice."

Regular Opening Hours Re-established for TU Buildings from 17 April 2023

Since 25 November 2022, all TU Berlin buildings have been open on weekdays between 5:00 and 22:00 only to help save energy. At nights and on weekends, buildings have remained closed over this period. From the start of the lecture period on 17 April 2023 at 5:00, all buildings will revert to their regular opening times.

The University's measures

  • Room air-conditioning (cold and heat): to the prescribed maximum or minimum temperature
  • Limit flow or return temperature ventilation and heating
  • Switch off decentralized, self-procured air conditioning and heating units
  • Switch off cooling in the lecture halls during the lecture-free period and outside the summer months (reprogramming / starting pumps cyclically)
  • Reduce hot water use:
    • No hot water for hand washing, except in accessible restrooms
    • Switch off kitchen boiler where possible (in consultation with energy officers)
  • Switch off the central potable hot water preparation in the EN, MA, TC buildings
  • In the medium term: deconstruction / modification with decentralized instantaneous water heaters in potable hot water preparation, e.g. for showers, in buildings EN, MA, TC
  • Implement savings in lecture halls:
    • Change ventilation control from current 100% continuous operation to CO2 / differential pressure controlled
    • Concentrate lecture hall use during non-lecture periods to a few lecture halls
    • Automate setting of lecture hall times
  • Drive savings in permanent ventilation, e.g. practical training rooms and laboratories
  • Extend optimization of cooling
  • Replace thermostatic heads in the buildings where they are defective or missing
  • Insulate heating pipes in non-heated rooms
  • Optimize heating control
  • Reduce cooling in the wiring center (define / check limit temperatures)
  • Reduce cooling in the computing center (define / check limit temperatures)
  • Achieve short-term savings in lighting, e.g. traffic areas (motion detectors / light sensors / facility managers), outdoor lighting
  • Convert lighting to LED
  • Partial switch-off of transformers on standby
  • Night-time closure
  • Closure of buildings over the weekend
  • End of year: closure of TU buildings from 16.12.2022 to 04.01.2023
  • Reduce opening hours of sports facilities, lower hall temperatures
  • Introduce energy officers for academic chairs
  • Gather further suggestions for energy-saving measures via a designated email address
  • Appeal for energy-saving behavior / further energy education
  • Improve energy data

Saving energy at the workplace

“Real climate protection - conscious handling of energy” is the headline for an information campaign and a continuing education offer run by Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection.

You can find out more about energy saving on its website. You can also download materials such as posters.

Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection has also published an online information sheet about saving energy

Background information

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.

Climate, energy and building projects for the TU Berlin campus

In addition to conducting research, TU Berlin is also looking to initiate projects using living labs and then implement its findings working together with different external stakeholders. By doing so, the University seeks to provide a model of how to proceed.

The following is a selection of projects relevant to our campus:

Task Force Energy and Energy-Saving Measures

Task Force Energy and Energy-Saving Measures was set up by the Executive Board of TU Berlin at the end of July 2022.

Its members include:

  • Prof. Dr. Sophia Becker, vice president for sustainability, internal communication, transfer and transdisciplinarity
  • Lars Oeverdieck, vice president for administration
  • René Vonau, head of Department IV - Building and Services Management
  • Barbara Münch, Energy Management
  • Stefanie Terp, Office of Communication, Events and Alumni
  • Jörg Romanski, Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection
  • Michael Wilmes, Head of strategic projects, Task Force coordinator

The Task Force meets at regular intervals. Information about its work and decisions will be published on this portal.

Contact: energie(at)tu-berlin.de

Contact for the media:

Stefanie Terp

Chief Communication Officer, Head of the Office of Communication, Events and Alumni & Spokeswoman of TU Berlin

pressestelle@tu-berlin.de

+49 (0)172 314-6639

Organization name Office of Communication, Events and Alumni