The buildings on the Woudestein campus are warmed by district heating supplied by Eneco. As Eneco is the sole supplier of district heating, EUR cannot look for a cheaper supplier. The costs of district heating are linked to the price of natural gas and have therefore also soared. Van Schoten expects this bill to increase by 800,000 euros per year.
The University will also pay more for electricity next year. EUR purchases its electricity by placing tenders, together with Erasmus MC and Leiden University. As those are often long-term fixed-rate contracts, the price increase will depend on when a new contract is signed. The electricity price for the first half of 2023 has already been established, for the second half a contract still has to be signed. However, the prices are so high currently that the universities didn’t want to sign any contract for that yet. Van Schoten’s current estimate is an increase of 300,000 euros.
Thermostats set one degree lower
Van Schoten is working on plans to reduce the University’s energy consumption. Thermostats will be set one degree lower, for instance, and the Executive Board is considering temporarily closing one or two buildings. Soon, the building next to Polak will be opened, which is built in a very sustainable way, which should also reduce energy consumption. In the longer term, the University is working on making the campus more sustainable and has earmarked an additional 20 million euros for that purpose in the coming years. And in the near future, EUR will introduce a dashboard that will show precisely how much progress is being made on its sustainability goals.