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Switch off for Christmas

19 Dec 2012

Take a few easy steps to reduce electricity consumption in your department or building during the holidays.

Switch off

Just as you are looking forward to going home and taking a break for the Christmas holidays, make sure all your electrical equipment* gets a break too.

The University spends over £8.7 million on electricity every year, £4 million on gas and £2 million on water. Last year, we managed to reduce electricity consumption by 43% in one building alone over the Christmas period!

There are many easy steps you can take to reduce electricity consumption in your department or building over the Christmas break:

1. Switch off your PCs and laptops (monitors, printers, scanners, speakers, peripherals)

Since January 2012, PC equipment has been running for over 600,000 hours combined, but only 33% of these hours are active usage. Save energy by fully shutting down your PC and switching off at the mains (and, if possible, unplugging) before you leave.

As well as having the obvious cost implications, this waste will also be impacting on our environment - leaving just one single PC on over the course of a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus!

Help save on CO2 emissions, as well as the pennies, by switching off this Christmas. 

2. Switch the plugs off

Other appliances besides PCs and laptops continue to use energy when they are plugged in and switched on at the wall socket, including:

  • Phone, PDA, battery chargers
  • Kitchen equipment (kettles, coffee makers, dishwashers, microwaves)
  • Water coolers
  • Boilers, (portable) heaters, air cons and extract fans

3. Make sure you turn off what you can’t unplug

4. Switch off all lights and fairy lights

5. Close all windows and blinds around the building


  • Fax machines
  • Fridges/freezers (unless empty)
  • Experiments
  • Servers
  • Safety/monitoring equipment

If you are not sure, seek further advice.

Switching off will assist in reducing the University’s carbon footprint and contribute to achieving the 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions by 40%.

May all your Christmases be green …

Further information

If you have any queries for the Environmental Sustainability team: