Energy management forms an important part of the sustainability ambition of TU/e. In 2015 TU/e was climate neutral, and the aim is to be fifty percent energy neutral in 2030. This means that in that year half of our energy will be generated by TU/e itself.


As of 2012 electricity is 100% ‘greened’ with Guarantees of Origin. As of 2013 natural gas is 25% greened in the form of afforestation and forest protection projects. In 2015 the natural gas is also totally greened and TU/e is climate neutral. In order to attain our energy ambition, we actively pursue energy savings as well. In comparison with 2005, TU/e in 2020 wants to reduce its energy consumption by 30%. These savings will be achieved as follows:

  • 20% within the institution: 5% savings in existing buildings and 15% in our new buildings in combination with the reduction of the number of square meters.
  • 10% outside the institution: 10% (CO₂ reduction) in the form of mobility.

Energy management

Continuous improvement of the energy efficiency can only be brought about if we devote structural attention to this through energy management. Energy management is the structurally and economically sound execution of organizational, technical and behavioral measures to minimize the use of energy.

Deming circle is a guideline

The guideline for TU/e in organizing its energy management is the NEN-EN 16001 standard. This standard specifies requirements for the organization, implementation, maintenance and improvement of an energy management system based on the (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Deming circle.

Heat and Cold Storage (ATES)

TU/e has a Heat and Cold Storage (ATES) installation which is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. The ATES has been executed with two central rings; a cold ring and a hot ring. Buildings can independently use heat and cold simultaneously, while heat and cold can be exchanged on the rings. This is a unique feature of the installation at TU/e. A total of 70% of the built-up area of TU/e (19 buildings) is connected with the ATES.

The buildings forming part of the Campus 2020 projects are fully heated by means of the ATES in combination with a heat pump and low-temperature heating (in these buildings no natural gas is used for the heating). Likewise, the cooling of the buildings (high-temperature cooling) is realized by the ATES. In addition, the decentralized spaces where individual installations are used are fitted with presence detection and window contacts that can switch off the climate installation (induction ceiling) when the windows are opened.

To give you an idea of the size of the ATES installation, we mention some characteristic features of the Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage:

  • current number of sources: 32, to be extended to 48 (3x8 cold + 3x8 hot)
  • current source water flow: 2000 m³/h, to be extended to 3000 m³/h
  • design cooling capacity (in case of 3000m³): 25MW

By storing heat and cold in the soil, TU/e annually saves some three million KWh on electricity and more than 450,000 m³ on gas.

Watch the film about the ATES installation of TU/e.

Carbon Footprint

What’s the reason for a carbonfootprint?

In 2008 TU/e committed itself to the MJA-3 covenant (multi-year agreements regarding energy efficiency) within the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands). This covenant lays down provisions for the reduction of the energy consumption by 30% in the period 2005-2020. Part of the covenant is a CO₂ reduction. The first step towards this CO₂ reduction is to get a clear idea of the CO₂ emissions of TU/e. A carbon footprint is an inventory and identification of the main energy flows and a quantification of CO₂ emissions.

TU/e’s carbon footprint

The carbon footprint of TU/e shows how much CO₂ is emitted by TU/e, by its own staff members and within its own premises. Other buildings on campus and students and third parties are left out of consideration. We have decided to highlight the subject of mobility. In this context 2010 has been taken as the reference year, for at the time of the assessment this was the most recent year of which all data were available.

The first carbon footprint is a baseline. The intention is to measure our CO₂ footprint regularly, so as to monitor and provide insight into our improvements.

FAQ Energy conservation

Why have not all toilets at TU/e been equipped with motion sensors?

In new buildings like Atlas, Flux, and MetaForum the lighting in toilets is operated by a motion sensor. Eventually TU/e wants to apply this system throughout the campus, but a system in a building will not be replaced until it has reached the end of its natural life cycle. In this way we prevent the discarding of materials that are still good.

What can I do myself to save energy?

At the end of your working day you should switch off your PC/laptop including your monitor, loudspeakers, printers (also in the corridor), battery chargers of your telephone, lights, kitchen equipment (microwaves, coffee machines, water boilers), fume cupboards and research equipment.

And when I leave my working space for a moment?

Turn off the light and switch your computer to the stand-by mode. The latter can be set automatically in Windows via Power Options.

In the stand-by mode a PC consumes 8 Watt per hour. Normally a PC with a 19-inch LCD screen uses 100 Watt per hour. If a computer is actually used 6 hours per day, it can be in the stand-by mode for 2 hours. This results in a saving of 0.184 kWh per day. Given 225 working days that is 41.4 kWh per year, which implies that the 3,000 permanent workstations at TU/e together can save 124,200 kWh; which is equivalent with the power consumption of 35 households!

Which buildings on the TU/e campus consume the most energy?

Lab buildings such as Spectrum, Cyclotron and Helix are real energy guzzlers, due to the huge amount of air that is continuously refreshed, cooled and conditioned. In older buildings the power consumption is often not so bad. They need less cooling, and cooling requires more energy than heating.

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