Sustainable UCL


The UCL Big Switch Off creates large energy savings

13 January 2016

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Big Switch Off over the winter break. These savings show the big reduction we can all help make to UCL's energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions.

Big Switch Off infographic

Staff and students from over 60 departments and divisions took part, with the Division of Psychiatry winning this year's competition, generating a large number of pledges to switch off over the holidays. They'll receive a £100 voucher to spend on eco goodies for the department. Coming second, the Bartlett School of Planning also achieved high levels of participation and in third place the Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health. 

Comparing UCL's energy use over the holiday period with term-time use, staff and students helped save almost 500,000 kWh of energy. That's around a 20% reduction in UCL's usual electricity use. If we switched off like this every weekend, UCL could reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by around 1,000 tonnes and save nearly £250,000 on its energy bill every year.

Keep making an impact throughout the year

The Big Switch Off doesn't end here. Saving energy is just one change that we hope you’ll continue to make. But if you’re feeling inspired, why not get more involved?

UCL's Green Impact programme is open for the 2015-16 period. It's an accreditation and award scheme that's all about staff and students working together in their departments to improve their environmental performance. Find more and get involved with Green Impact

If you’d like any help, information or resources to make your department or division more sustainable, please do get in touch.

For the purposes of our infographic:

  • The holiday period is from 24/12/15 - 3/01/16: electricity used during this time:  1,889,787 kWh.
  • The control period is an average of the electricity usage from 30/11/15 to 6/12/15 , 7/12/15 to 13/12/15 and 14/12/15 to 20/12/15.
  • The average electricity used during the control period average was:  230,829 kWh during the week and 193,478 kWh at weekends.  
  • Figures assume that generating 1kWh of electricity produces 0.46 kg C02 and costs £0.10/kWh.