Berlin’s Universities and Colleges to Make a Substantial Contribution to Saving Energy

Joint press release of Berlin’s Senate Department for Higher Education and Research, Health, Long-Term Care and Gender Equality and Berlin’s universities and colleges

In light of the ongoing energy crisis, Berlin’s universities and colleges as well as many scientific and research institutions will be making a significant contribution to energy conservation in the federal state of Berlin this 2022/2023 winter semester. The members of the State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin (LKRP) - in conjunction with the Senate Department for Higher Education and Research, Health, Long-Term Care and Gender Equality - have agreed on a number of guidelines. Overall, the universities and colleges are committed to ensuring that studying and teaching take place in person and on campus, and, to this end, they - alongside the state’s scientific and research institutions - are in the process of implementing a wide array of energy-saving measures.

The universities and colleges that constitute the LKRP have discussed and approved a series of specific actions to take in this area. The room temperature in offices, lecture halls, seminar rooms, libraries, common rooms, and other workspaces may not exceed nineteen degrees Celsius. Many other common areas such as stairwells, hallways, and spaces designated for storage and transport will not be heated in general. Water heating systems will either be switched off completely or the temperature will be reduced to a level that does not produce health risks. Inspections will be carried out to make sure that the temperature is lowered in all buildings and properties overnight and during the weekends.

Separate regulations can be arranged for rooms with special requirements such as kitchenettes, sanitary facilities, laboratories, and other rooms that have specific temperature requirements in order to maintain operational safety. Prudence will be shown for certain facilities such as day care centers, which will be excluded from this measure.

The participating institutions will also refrain from illuminating buildings and switching on outdoor lighting, provided that this does not impact safety on campus. An effort will be made to immediately switch to energy-saving LED lighting, and lighting will be reduced in the hallways of all buildings.

Many of Berlin’s universities, colleges, and scientific and research institutions have been making concerted efforts to conserve vast amounts of energy over the last few years and have chosen to roll out their own energy-saving measures. These have included installing solar energy systems in their buildings and switching off equipment and devices that are not absolutely essential for operations.

In order to overcome the challenges that lie ahead, all of Berlin’s universities and colleges have developed their own step-by-step plans in which the relevant governance structures on site have laid out further energy-saving measures.

The primary objective of the academic and scientific institutions of Berlin is to play an important role in conserving energy over the winter while also ensuring that they are able to operate as usual. This requires the cooperation and understanding of all their members. As public institutions, Berlin’s universities and colleges together with its scientific and research institutions wish to also serve as a role model for other areas of society