Heating of College buildings
In 2022 an extensive consultation was conducted with student representatives of the DCSA.
The practice of how and when to heat College properties has evolved over the years.
In light of the College’s sustainability objectives and in the context of a global energy crisis which has driven energy prices to record highs, heating times were assessed across the estate.
Following the heating season, a review was conducted and further consultations were held with all stakeholders to see if adjustments needed to be made to the new timetable.
The following strategy has been agreed for 2023:
- Heating in College buildings will be turned on during the week commencing 23rd October 2023.
- In October and November, and then again during March and April, all buildings other than the Study Centre will be heated from early to mid-morning and then from late afternoon into the evening.
- During the coldest months of December, January and February, the heating will be left on longer into the late morning, and will come on earlier in the afternoon.
- The Study Centre will be heated throughout the day so that students working in College may do so in a warm environment.
These discussions have taken place in the context of the extreme rise in the cost of electricity and gas, but also reflect the need of the College to reduce energy use as part of our sustainability goals.
Darwin is planning an ambitious programme of infrastructure projects, including the possibility of using water source heat pumps to completely remove gas boilers from the main site. Over the summer we have continued the roll-out of secondary glazing across a number of rooms on the main site, and have developed plans to change all the windows and install heat pumps in an off-site hostel next summer.
As energy consumers we need to be as responsible as possible in how we use electricity and gas. Some solutions to reducing demand are technological, while others involve upgrading the building fabric, but behavioural change plays a key part. This strategy is an extremely positive step in the right direction.
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