Saving energy at TU Dortmund University

TU Dortmund University is a technical university in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with over 35,000 students, and over 6,000 staff including 300 professors, offering around 80 Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. It is situated in the Ruhr area, the fourth largest urban area in Europe. The university is highly ranked in terms of its research performance in the areas of physics, electrical engineering, chemistry and economics. The university pioneered the Internet in Germany, and contributed to machine learning (in particular, to support-vector machines, and RapidMiner).

To avert a gas shortage, gas consumption in the EU must be reduced by 15% this winter; the target for Germany is 20%. In a joint statement of all universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, TU Dortmund University declared to meet the savings targets out of solidarity. The measures are also necessary to reduce the additional costs that are caused by the sharp rise in energy prices regardless of any capping.   

As a public institution, the university has been obligated to take some measures since 1 September, such as heating rooms only to a maximum of 19°C. Many energy-saving measures can be implemented centrally, as the following examples show. But to achieve the goal, all employees of the university need to participate. After all, in 70% of the space, room temperature is controlled by thermostats, not centrally. The users themselves also have the greatest influence on electricity consumption. The savings goals shall be achieved in continuing operations. There is a political consensus to maintain on-site teaching.

Currently, the university is immensely dependent on natural gas: 100% of the heat and 45% of the electricity is generated by it. The energy transition will be a major task.

Source: TU Dortmund University


European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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