Skip to content

Top 10 energy saving tips

  1. Switch off lights when not required.
  2. Switch off electronic equipment at wall.
  3. Use stairs instead of lift.
  4. Boil the kettle with just enough water.
  5. Coffee makers should be switched off and emptied overnight.
  6. Use DMU Energy Policy settings for heating and cooling.
  7. Dress for the weather.
  8. Report heating problems to the Estates Helpdesk.
  9. Take park in Green Impact.
  10. Arrange for an energy audit of your department.

1. Switch off lights when not required 

Good opportunities to switch off lights include:

  • When you are the last to leave the room
  • When there is sufficient daylight to work comfortably


    Some people think it is better to leave flourescent lights on rather than switching them off when not required in order to prolong the life of the tube. In cost terms, it is always more efficient to switch off lights when you are leaving a room rather than leaving them on.

Back to top


2. Switch off electronic equipment at wall

In particular, PCs should always be switched off at the wall overnight and at weekends. This is because the I.T. network card in your PC continues to consume energy even when the PC has been fully shut down, but remains on at the plug. ITMS has confirmed that it is safe to switch off your PC at the wall overnight – your computer will not miss any updates as a result. 

Similarly, laptop and phone chargers should be switched off at the plug when not charging. Some brands of these goods continue to draw power even when the phone or laptop is not connected to the charger.

*NOTE: It is not necessary to unplug the equipment; simply turn the plug off at the switch. Where there are multiple users connected to an extension cable, it is worth agreeing on a system whereby the final person to leave the office each evening switches the plug off at the wall.

Other electronic equipment, for example printers (individual and networked) should be switched off at the appliance. It is not necessary to switch these items off at the wall.

Back to top

3. Use stairs instead of lift 

For staff and students who are in good physical health, using the stairs instead of the lift is a great way to keep fit, while also helping the university to reduce its energy bill.Walking up stairs will help you reach the recommended 10,000 steps per day for good health. And during the annual Walk to Work Week, the steps taken to climb the stairs can be used towards your total distance walked, boosting your department’s total, and helping DMU to achieve a higher score. See our travel options page for more information on walking at DMU.

Back to top

4. Boil kettle with just enough water 

With a power rating of about 3000 W, kettles are very energy intensive. By comparison, most PCs at DMU have a power rating of about 150 W. Boiling the kettle for one cup of tea could use more energy than your PC uses in one hour! Using only the water that you need reduces the time it takes to boil the kettle, which reduces the amount of energy consumed. This is a very simple step that many people across the campus are already taking and it makes a massive difference! 

Back to top

5. Coffee makers should be switched off and emptied overnight

Some departments at DMU have coffee machines which are constantly boiling water. If your department has one of these, it is a good idea to switch them off overnight. From a health and safety perspective, it is necessary to ensure that the coffee is emptied out of the machine when it is switched off. This liquid is not safe for consumption the following day, so it must be refilled with fresh water. 

*NOTE: very large hot drinks machines which are on an external service contract should never be switched off, for health and safety reasons. If you are unsure, get in touch with the Energy Manager

Back to top

6. Use energy policy settings for heating and cooling 

The comfortable temperature range for work spaces (lecture theatres, laboratories and offices, for example) is from 21⁰C to 25⁰C. Based around these optimum temperatures, the DMU Energy Policy requires heating to be provided up to the level of 21⁰C. Cooling is available in some locations only. When the temperature exceeds 28⁰C, cooling can be provided to the level of 25⁰C, where it is available. Adhering to this policy will help ensure energy is used efficiently at DMU for space heating and cooling.

You can help to ensure this policy is followed by monitoring the temperature in your classroom, office or lab. Set the thermostat in the room to 21⁰C during the heating season (October to April) and the A/C controller to 25⁰C during the summer. If there is a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) in your room, adjust it to a comfortable temperature. If the room is too hot, turn this down rather than opening the window. Keeping the doors and windows closed when the heating or air conditioning is on will further help maintain comfortable temperatures inside and will reduce energy consumption.

Back to top

7. Dress for the weather 

By wearing clothing matched to the weather, it is possible to reduce heating levels in the winter and reduce cooling levels in the summer. This is a very simple way that you can make a difference to DMU’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Back to top

8. Report heating problems to the Estates Helpdesk 

If you have a problem with overheating in your building, ask your department representative to log a job on the Estates Helpdesk and the Estates Maintenance team will investigate it for you. They can also repair lighting problems and leaking taps, so there’s no need to suffer if you have any of these issues in your building.

Back to top

9. Take part in Green Impact 

This is probably the single best thing you can do to reduce energy consumption at DMU. Green Impact helps departments to reduce energy wastage through a range of specific actions, which together can earn your department sustainability awards. You can find more information in the Environmental pages.

Back to top

10. Arrange for an energy audit of your department 

Get in touch with the Energy Manager to arrange for an energy audit of your department. This will involve a walk around all of the accessible rooms in the department and will result in a short report with recommendations for energy saving measures specific to your department.

Back to top

Energy saving ideas and best practice from around DMU:

        • Eric Wood Building (POD): Staff in the 1st floor kitchen switch off their mains-fed water cooler every night! If you do this, remember to run off a couple of cups of water when you switch it back on in the morning.
          *NOTE: For health and safety reasons, bottle-based water coolers should not be switched off. 

        • Trinity House:Following an energy audit last year, staff in Trinity House arranged for automatic lighting sensors to be installed in all bathrooms. This is a great way to save energy, because bathroom lighting is often left on unnecessarily.

        • Hawthorn Building (H&LS): During the bright summer months when there is adequate daylight during occupied hours, some of the corridor lighting has been switched off to save energy.
        • Portland Building (External Relations):Low energy LED desk lights are used instead of full room lights in some offices. If you are the only person working in your office, it can be very energy efficient to use a low energy desk lamp (6 watts per hour for an LED lamp) rather than lighting the entire room (which typically uses at least 100 watts per hour for a single office and about 500 watts for a shared four person office).