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Saving energy together

By establishing a task force and launching an energy-saving campaign, the ZHAW took a proactive approach in addressing the looming energy shortage in winter.

In the event of an energy shortage, the ZHAW’s goal was to be able to maintain university operations as long as possible. This is why the Energy Shortage Task Force, which included representatives from the areas of Facility Management, Information and Communication Technology, Security and Corporate Communications, was already set up in early summer. The task force was charged with assessing the current situation on an ongoing basis and developing possible scenarios and potential measures. By implementing these energy-saving measures, the ZHAW is helping to boost energy supply and avoid potential energy shortages in Switzerland.

Prepared for various situations

The ZHAW joined the Swiss Federal Council’s calls to save energy. From autumn onwards, staff, students and continuing education participants followed a range of energy-saving measures, including switching off lights and appliances or washing hands with cold water. The Facility Management department also implemented several measures at technical and operational levels, including reducing campus lighting at night and adjusting daylight sensors.

Several precautionary measures were also adopted so that the ZHAW would be able to react quickly in the event of energy quotas or cyclical power cuts. Examples of these include switching off selected Wi-Fi access points or closing selected buildings. The task force defined various scenarios, ranging from normal situation to a savings appeal or even blackouts, with the aim of avoiding power cuts at all costs. According to Reto Schnellmann, managing director of the ZHAW, savings of 15 to 20% can be made without fundamentally endangering the university’s operations.