Grant Funding Upgrades
The Government’s Green Heat Network Fund will be helping the University of Reading reduce the carbon footprint of its entire built estate by 10%. The grant, which is being match funded by the University, will be used to fund the installation of a large water source heat pump in the University’s Energy Centre. The Energy Centre provides heating and hot water to 17 buildings on the Whiteknights campus through an underground district heating network (DHN), currently powered by a combination of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine and gas boilers. Click for more Info.
Water Source Heat Pump
Potential in the future we will seek an innovative water source heat pump at our Greenlands campus. This would transfer heat from the river Thames into the buildings, reducing the need for oil fired boilers. It's an exciting project but complicated due to many planning, heritage and environmental considerations.
Compressors in Chemistry and Harry Nursten have been replaced for more efficient, variable speed equivalents. This is delivering annual savings of 66 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and delivering a payback on the investment in just 3.7 years.
In 22 -23 upgrades of RSU café and Eat @ Squares lighting to LEDs saw 6 tCO2 saved. But since the phase out of Florescent lighting a much larger programme of LED replacements will be required from the University and this is currently in planning phases with our Estates colleagues.
In order to understand where and when we use energy, it is essential that we have reliable metering in place. Nearly all our buildings now have half hourly energy data which helps us decide what projects to undertake and review how much they actually save. Click this box to explore our energy data in a new window.
Our ambitious solar panel extension project saw the doubling of Whiteknights solar PV generation capacity to 1 MW. Installations were completed on 7 further buildings, totalling 450 kWp (Whiteknights total = 998 kWp), predicted to generate 395,482 kWh electricity each year, saving £134,000 (at 2022/23 prices) and 91 tCO2 annually. This is equivalent to removing the electricity consumption of circa 136 houses from the grid.
Our first heat decarbonisation retrofit project in the final stages of planning, in the SportsPark, to replace its ageing gas boilers with low carbon air source heat pumps, targeting annual savings of 489,735 kWh and 121 tCO2. It is planned to complete in 2024 following full conditions can be met by the University.
In Year Energy Saving
A spend to save project off the back of suggestions made from our behavioural change programme Our Future First (OFF). Plans to spend £500K to save 1 Million from the Universities utilities bills
We have upgraded our fume cupboard ventilation systems across our estate to deliver significant annual energy savings, of 1,110 tCO2 and £316,680 (at 2016 rates), 17% better than we originally predicted! This project is one of the single largest contributors to reducing our carbon footprint, and has won several national sustainability awards. Watch our video at the bottom of this page for a quick overview.
We are constantly developing our heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve comfort and save energy. We've installed modern sensors and controllers, optimised start and stop times.