We’re saving energy

Read about the steps taken around the university to reduce energy consumption and what they mean for you.

A number of initiatives were taken i the autumn of 2022 and they still applies today. Not all of the steps taken will affect all buildings at the same time and to the same extent. You can get more information about how and when they’ll affect you from your local buildings operations team or your manager.


  • When lighting controlled by sensors comes on, several minutes often go by before the lights shut off again. We’re going to shorten this interval, because this will save quite a bit of electricity. This means you’ll notice that the motion sensor-controlled lighting in hallways, offices and so on switches off more quickly than before.
  • All unnecessary indoor and outdoor lighting in and around all buildings will be switched off, for example facade lighting, outdoor spaces etc.
  • So you’ll notice that there will be fewer spaces that are lit by default. However, we will continue to light areas where this is  necessary out of consideration for your safety and security.


  • We’re running the ventilation systems in our buildings for shorter periods of time, because this will save a lot of electricity. You’ll notice that the ventilation system in your building may no longer be running 24-7, which means that the indoor climate may not live up to the same consistently high standards as before. However, we will naturally continue to meet the legal requirements for air quality.
  • The ventilation systems will typically be turned off at night and at outside working hours; adjustments will be made based on an assessment of what’s technically possible and most appropriate.


  • Aarhus University will heat its buildings to 20-22 degrees Celsius in the autumn and winter months, in line with the government agency for work environment.
  • The temperature may vary from room to room – and in fact, the temperature will vary in the same room depending on where you are. It’s coldest next to the window and next to the door, for example. 
  • In many buildings, the temperature is regulated centrally. But in some locations, temperature is regulated by the thermostats in the rooms. In such rooms, it’s your responsibility to help make sure that the temperature is kept between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. 
  • This temperature adjustment is an important contribution to reducing AU’s heat consumption. For every degree the temperature is reduced in a building, on average, the university’s heat consumption will fall by a minimum of 5%.

Closure of selected buildings outside working hours

  • There will be some buildings that are no longer open at night and in the weekends to the same extent. This means there will no longer be access to all the facilities in some buildings 24-7. Your building maintenance team or manager can provide you with more details about such closures in your area.

Ongoing optimisation

By collecting data about electricity consumption in our buildings and using machine learning, AU Estates Projects and Development is constantly gathering information that makes it possible to take effective, targeted action to reduce energy consumption.

Other initiatives

The possibility of installing more solar panels on buildings outside the University Park is being investigated. The university is also exploring options for the renovation and energy optimisation of technical installations, light sources and ventilation systems.

It makes a difference

Every 4500 kWh saved by AU is the equivalent of the average yearly electricity consumption of an average Danish household.

Electricity-saving systems in our buildings

  • Last year, AU reduced energy consumption in the S Building on Fuglesangs Allé in Aarhus by 14,000 kWh (over 2019) by turning off electrical systems between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00. These energy savings were the result of turning off ventilation systems in particular.
  • A building with 1,000 30-watt lamps that are switched on 10 hours a day uses about 110,000 kWh per year to keep the lights on. If you install motion-activated lamps with sensor in stead, you only use about 33,000 kWh per year. 


  • Every time the temperature is lowered by 1°C in our buildings, heat consumption will drop by 5% during the heating season – a drop from 21°C to 20°C means a savings of about 3.45 million kWh.

Questions about the university-wide effort to save energy?

Søren Harbo Jensen

Buildings Supervision Estates Projects and Development - Campus Service, Technology and Projects

Building Services at the faculties