Reduce Utilities Year on Year

The Students’ Union’s Efforts to Reduce Utilities Year on Year

We all need to make a concerted effort to be less wasteful and more efficient if we are to reduce our carbon emissions in line with the targets that we have collectively set (for example UWE’s institutional carbon targets; the Climate Change Act; the Paris agreement).  

 The Students’ Union at UWE Key Facts:

  • Over the last three years, we have saved 17.2 Tonne CO2 equivalent through electricity usage
  • Over the last three years, water has decreased year on year, saving 1.1 CO2 tonne equivalent
  • The Students' Union is actively engaged with the university's Estates and Energy Team to monitor our consumption of a variety of utilities on a yearly basis
  • Our Strategic Plan commits us to NUS Green Impact Accreditation for the next 4 years, and we will maintain all actions and plans for reductions
  • We undertake staff focused energy challenges to raise awareness of consumption and aid our reduction goals

Did you know?

The Students’ Union have changed the timings of our promotional screens? Running 1 year of the new timings system saves 1528 kwh of electricity, the equivalent of saving 9655 boiled kettles of electricity.


Comparing 2014 in F block (The Students' Union) to 2017 in U block, there is a 17.92 Tonne CO2 equivalent saving!  This is equivalent to around £4,000+ (elecricity costs and taxes).   


The Students' Union 






Electricity (kWh) 

Tonnes CO2e from electricity 


F block  




New U block 




New U block 








Although the electricity use has increased, the carbon intensity of the UK grid has decreased, resulting in the CO2 from The Students' Union electricity consumption to have also dropped.

Due to The Students' Union's new building, the organisation is more prominent to students and offers meeting and events spaces, making us more utilised by students. This has enabled us to better achieve our charitable aims and to organise larger equality and diversity campaigns and events within our space. Even though the building is used more by students, we are still making an energy saving on two utilities.  

To add some additional context to the increase of the electricity usage, we can analyse how much the U block space is used via a report from our booking system.

From 1 Sept 2016 - 31 March 2017 there was a total of 436 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes

From 2 Sept 2017 – 31 March 2017 there was a total of 945 day, 23 hours

It is clear that the record space usage has doubled yet the electrical usage has not increase significantly.


 Comparing 2014 with 2016, there is a 1,080.442m3 water saving.  This is equivalent to around £2,000. 


The Students' Union 







Water  supply (m3) 

Water treatment (m3) 

Total CO2e from water 


F block 





New U block 





New U Block





Please find attached the spreadsheet from UWE's Energy Team detailing the reduction over the last three year period of both water and electricity utilities. We are unable to report on gas in 2014-2015 as the boiler that supplies heating / hot water for F-block also supplies other areas, so it is not so easy to see what The Students’ Union “consumed”.  


Our gas usage has stayed fairly constant over the last two years, however, it does show a slight increase.

As the university does not release its data until a full cycle, we do not see the impact on our energy saving techniques in this green impact submission. We can’t wait to see the result of all our staff awareness and engagement activity this year in a few months!

Do you have ideas how The Students' Union can reduce its utilities? Get in touch and let us know!

VP Education, Jamie Jordon