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Energy Management

Did you know Trinity spends just over €7 million each year on electricity, natural gas and water? This results in greenhouse gas emissions of 30,500 tonnes. It is university policy to promote sustainable development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Everybody has a role to play. Simple actions like switching off lights when they are not required, not using plug-in electric heaters, using a blank screensaver, tightening up your PC powersave features, pulling down the sash on fume cupboards, and managing lab equipment all help. E3 (energy, environment and economy) is an Energy Reduction Programme which Estates and Facilities has been collaborating with UCD, DIT, and DCU to reduce energy use since 2004. Our participation since the programme started in 2004 has resulted in Trinity achieving cumulative savings of just under one million euro and 5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (March 2012).

Our Commitment

The University Strategic Plan 2014-19 identifies our role in fostering a sustainable society, and to raise awareness of the centrality of low-carbon living and sustainability. Trinity aims to position itself at the forefront of sustainable, low energy procurement initiatives in all construction projects. We will establish ambitious targets for reduced energy usage, water usage and waste production in all areas of university activity. Trinity is committed to the second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) which sets out targets for public sector bodies to reduce energy consumption against a base year by 33% by year 2020.

Electrical Energy Consumption Main Campus

You can now look at the electrical energy consumption for the main city centre campus here. You will enter a web based screed that scrolls between monthly, weekly and daily electrical consumption with comparison to similar historical consumption. Our objective is to minimise energy waste and achieve energy savings on an ongoing basis.

College Energy Strategy

Our energy programme has four main strands:

  • Ensure new and refurbished buildings are designed to be efficient in use
  • Monitor, manage and reduce use in existing buildings
  • Consider life-cycle costs when buying new equipment and plant
  • Use low cost and, where possible, renewable energy sources.

Water and Waste Water Management

Water and waste water management are areas that are essential to the management of the sustainability of the university. Water saving devices including spray taps and low water content wc cisterns are used extensively within Trinity. Extensive works have been undertaken to upgrade the water mains within the main campus to minimise water leakage.

The Biomedical Sciences Institute, completed in 2011, has a rain water harvesting system This system captures rainwater from the roof level and stores it for use in WC flushing. This system reduces the demand from Dublin City Council for expensive treated drinking water.

The Biomedical Sciences Institute also has a partial green roof which reduces the discharge of rain water to the city surface water drains. Within Trinity, older buildings stock a green roof is installed adjacent to the Long Room Hub and a number of the Arts Building lower level roof terraces.

The refurbished residences in New Square East also have a rain water harvesting system installed.

Please click here to read about water facts and figures in Trinity.

Display Energy Certificates

Many Trinity College large buildings now have a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) indicating the energy performance of that building. DEC’s are ratings based on the actual measured energy consumption in a building each year. These certificates are prominently displayed, and generally to be found at the entrance of each building. They are updated annually, and our objective is to improve the energy rating of our buildings over time.

Buildings rated D and higher would be performing better than average in comparison to benchmarks. It is notable that those buildings with ratings lower than D are generally heavy research intensive buildings. These buildings tend to have very energy intensive equipment and onerous environmental controls. The DEC certs are of great assistance in identifying where to target our energy conservation efforts.

Energy assistance to faculties, schools and departments

We are committed to working with faculties, schools and departments to assist them in reducing their energy use and emissions. We will meet to discuss opportunities. Where appropriate, our support may include an energy survey to identify energy saving opportunities, and investments in reducing energy use. We will also support and work with commercial and self-financing units that take a role in reducing their energy use.

Winter Demand Reduction & Night Demand

Each winter College endeavours to reduce electrical demand during the national Winter Peak Demand Reduction period. This scheme helps reduce the peak national electricity demand, thereby reducing the use of less efficient power generating stations.

You can help by ensuring that unnecessary laboratory, office, and other equipment, and lighting is switched off between 5pm and 7pm. Where possible batch-type work, such as energy intensive IT updates or computations, electric autoclaves, use of hydraulic equipment, and activities that use significant volumes of compressed air should be avoided from 5pm-7pm.

Electricity prices at night, from 11pm to 8am, are half that of during the day, so we also encourage switching batched activities to between these times where possible.

Remember, between 5pm and 7pm:

  • Switch off unnecessary lights or equipment
  • Do not run electric autoclaves
  • Avoid substantial IT updates and computations
  • Avoid activities that use compressed air
  • Avoid use of hydraulic equipment/pumps

For any other queries please contact the Service Centre on or extension 4000.