Rising energy costs over the last number of years mean colleges and universities may be facing energy bills four times higher than they are used to. The stark warning comes from the Association of Colleges as 189 college leaders signed a letter urging the UK Prime Minister to assist institutions amid increasing pressures and efforts to reduce energy costs.
Across the Sector
This problem will affect all institutions across the education sector. For Further and Higher Education, some institutions will face a rise in energy costs of 6%, amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds a year. Universities in Europe have already reported they may have to close some buildings and dormitories due to rising costs.
The K-12 sector will also experience devastating effects with reports that the costs could result in staff losses and school closures. To survive and reduce the devastating impacts of rising energy costs, institutions need to implement necessary changes. These changes should be designed to bring costs down and improve sustainability.
What Can Institutions Do?
Modern innovations in software and technology have changed the game for campus efficiency. Smart Campus technology is built to improve resource efficiency, reduce costs and drive improvements around space utilisation and sustainability. So, what can this technology do?
One of the key elements of smart campus technology is tracking on-campus footfall. In the new age of hybrid learning, knowing how many students are attending physical classes is key to effective energy and estate management. Having accurate data on on-campus footfall informs efficient timetabling and space utilisation. Your institution can schedule classrooms depending on the genuine number of students attending, not an inaccurate overestimation. It also informs your estate management staff where energy is being wasted.
Hourly space utilisation updates give an insight to where light and heat output should be reduced or turned off.
Using campus data to inform estate management, timetabling and room allocations may save your institution millions. Given the current energy crisis and climate difficulties, investing in sustainability is crucial for any institution.
For more on effective space utilisation systems, check out our blog.