Saving energy together
With the involvement of professors, TH Köln has set up a task force for the planning of appropriate measures in order to take into account the needs of teaching and research. This task force aims to develop central measures for saving energy, such as optimizing heating and ventilation or reducing corridor lighting. Still, the main focus is making sure that in-person classes can be kept up during the winter semester.
We can all contribute to making our energy-saving measures a success. Even small changes in everyday life are effective and play a part in making our energy supply more climate friendly and crisis-proof. Let’s tackle this important task together.
First measures have been implemented
- No heating of circulation areas such as hallways and lobbies
- Lowering room temperatures to 19°C (always taking health aspects into account)
At the Deutz, Gummersbach and Leverkusen Campuses, the temperature is lowered centrally. At the Südstadt Campus (including Gustav-Heinemann-Ufer), the thermostat can be turned down in each room.
- Temperatures are lowered during off-peak hours (Monday through Thursday after 8 p.m., Friday after 6 p.m., all day Saturday and Sunday). The libraries are exempt from this rule. Planning an event during off-peak hours? Please contact email@example.com to make individual arrangements.
- No hot water at hand basins
- No lighting of buildings from outside
Frequently asked questions about energy saving measures at TH Köln
The temperature is lowered during off-peak hours, what are the specific arrangements?
Monday - Thursday
6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. (opening hours)
6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. (heating hours)
Night setback from 8 p.m.
Libraries heat islands (heated) Heating hours = opening hours (20 degrees)
6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. (opening hours)
6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (heating hours)
Night setback from 6 p.m.
Libraries Heat islands (heated) Heating hours = opening hours (20 degrees)
Buildings open = Night setback
Libraries Heat islands (heated) Heating hours = Opening hours (20 degrees)
Other buildings - individual measures
Closed (heating: night setback)
Who can I contact if my room is too cold (or too warm)?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In many buildings, the heating system is unfortunately not modern enough to log all room temperatures, let alone regulate them. Therefore, we depend on your feedback in our efforts to save energy on the one hand and to set an acceptable room temperature on the other.
I am planning an event during off-peak hours - do I have to put up with a cold room?
Please contact email@example.com - we will try to find an individual solution.
Halls are not supposed to be heated, why are individual radiators still warm?
The radiators are gradually turned off manually. If you find that a radiator has been missed, the control room (extension -2004) will be happy to hear from you. Some radiators must remain in operation to maintain circulation.
Are electric heaters allowed?
Generally not. In consultation with Team 10.3, different arrangements can be made, e.g. if otherwise a temperature of 19 degrees cannot be achieved in the office. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Corona measures to some extent contradict the energy saving tips. Should you ventilate or not?
Just like the energy-saving tips, the Corona measures include impact ventilation. In case of crowded rooms, the pandemic might make it necessary to ventilate more often than would be desirable from a climate protection point of view.
My radiators are blocked. Who can help me?
TH Köln employees should contact the facility managers if furniture needs to be moved.
Do the measures also apply at the Gummersbach campus? The buildings have wood chip heating, i.e. no fossil fuels.
In addition to the scarcity of natural gas, the state's requirements to save 20 percent energy are caused by the volatility of the energy market. Saving any form of energy relaxes the market. In addition, it supports the necessary change toward climate protection and sustainability. Renewable resources also only grow back to a limited extent. The Gummersbach campus operates a gas heating system in addition to the wood chip heating system, the use of which is to be reduced. Last but not least, the energy crisis has also led to an enormous price increase on the electricity and gas market. Here, too, the university is required to keep cost increases as low as possible
Is washing your hands and washing dishes with cold water hygienic?
Yes. The hygiene comes from the soap, which you should use especially considering the ongoing pandemic when washing hands. This also applies to washing dishes: It’s still hygienic if you use cold water and detergent.
Electronics & Lighting
Will outdoor lighting also be reduced at the Deutz campus? I feel unsafe in the dark surroundings!
Safety-related lighting remains on. Only effect lighting is switched off.
Can I get socket strips that can be switched off?
Yes. Please contact team 10.3 or team 10.5/10.6 or write an email to email@example.com.
Should I pull all the plugs in my office in the evening?
Reducing standby losses is generally a good idea.
Are there other systems that can be switched off centrally?
Heating and cooling ventilation systems with high energy requirements are centrally controlled. Measures introduced to save energy include enabling ventilation only according to actual demand, increasing the cooling temperature in summer, shortening heating times when creating heat islands (libraries) in winter.
Outlook & future prospects
Are sustainable energy concepts being implemented in the new construction projects (Leverkusen, Deutz, Erftstadt)?
Yes. In Leverkusen, heating and cooling are obtained from an efficient local heat supply and cooling system. The energy concept for the Deutz Campus has not yet been finalized; a geothermal heat solution is currently being considered. Plans for the Erftstadt campus will be made accordingly in due course.
What other measures is TH Köln planning?
There is a growing list of projects supported by BLB, the owner of the buildings, e.g.
- Replacing of outdated pumps,
- Ventilation only according to actual demand,
- Increasing the cooling temperature in summer,
- Reducing heating times in winter while creating heat islands (libraries) in winter.
- Gradually replacing old lights with LEDs.
TH Köln has been running on green power since the beginning of 2022. Presence detectors and timers will be used for lighting in suitable places. Energy monitoring is being expanded. Night and weekend temperature reduction is already being implemented to the greatest possible extent.
Tips for saving energy
- Do not leave devices running in standby mode
- Monitor: Switch off screen saver, switch on economy function
- PC: It is worth switching off after 5 minutes of idle time
- Laboratory equipment: Only switch on during experiments
- Copier: Press the economy button after copying, switch off completely at the end of the day/weekend
- Coffee machine: switch off after use - use thermos flask instead of hot plate
- Kettle: measure water accurately to avoid excess hot water
- Turn off lights when leaving the room, leave hallway lights on only when necessary.
- Turn down heating, especially during longer absences (where possible)
- Do not block radiators – free heat radiation and air circulation are necessary.
- Impact ventilation instead of tilting the window open: Preferably 3 times a day for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heating if possible.
Did you know?
- Cell phone chargers draw electricity even when the phone is not connected.
- A single Google search causes between 0.2 and 7 grams of carbon dioxide emissions - 7 grams is roughly equivalent to a car journey of 15 meters. That's because each time a search is entered, several servers pass the information back and forth. The Ecosia search engine offsets emissions by planting trees.
- E-mails sent to multiple contacts or containing large amounts of data can generate up to 50 grams of carbon dioxide.
- A full inbox, a crowded spam box and newsletters increase energy consumption. The browser also offers savings potential: regularly delete the search history and empty the cache!
Saving energy in the home: The best tips for everyday life
The cost savings listed in the tips are based on data from 2018 - the savings are currently probably significantly higher, but of course always depend on the individual electricity contract. Show more
University library lends out energy-saving meters
What are the biggest energy guzzlers at home? Where is there potential for savings? The University Library is now lending out energy-saving meters to students and employees of the university. The service is available at all locations. Please contact the service desk. Show more