Take a look at our current energy and water consumption in our handy infographic.

View or compare building by building energy and water usage using our handy tool.

We have ambitious plans to reduce our carbon emissions by 2026. Find out how we plan to get there, and what you can do to help.

Energy and water

What is the University doing?

The University of Exeter’s Renewable Energy Strategy seeks to maximise renewable energy generation, supplying its energy network from all forms of renewables. Currently, the University has over 1MW of building mounted solar PV on its campuses with plans to expand this across the remaining buildings that fit the criteria over the next 3-5 years. This has the potential to increase our Solar PV roof mounted supply by another 2 to 3 MW. In conjunction with the roof mounted installations we are reviewing our land assets and their potential to reduce our carbon impact and increase our environmental net gain.

The University is also undertaking a feasibility study on Wind Power opportunities and the conversion of our Gas network to a renewable energy form of heating to minimise our reliance on fossil fuels.

The University follows best practice in ensuring that our electricity supply is as low carbon as possible. It has a Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which covers 20% of our demand and has also committed to the purchase of REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin0 backed supply for the remaining demand.

The University's Energy Manager, Andy Seaman, is responsible for formulating and implementing the energy policy, monitoring energy consumption and costs, raising awareness of energy issues among staff and students and identifying opportunities to increase energy efficiency. The projects below form part of our portfolio of measures to reduce fossil fuel usage and move towards net zero carbon.


  • LED lighting installation - recent projects include Holland Hall and the Cricket Centre
  • We accurately track and monitor our energy use through our energy and carbon reporting management software. Please refer to our Energy Use Report 2021/22.
  • Building optimisation project upgrading insulation and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Boiler replacements - recent projects include Streatham Farm
  • Renewable energy purchasing - recent developments include a green energy power purchase agreement in partnership with other UK universities enhancing the existing 100% clean renewable electricity contract that's been in place since 2017 
  • An essential part of the University's energy management is our Building Management System (BMS). The BMS is programmed to provide a comfortable environment for occupants whilst maximising our energy efficiency.
  • We also conduct audits to identify locations where energy wastage is highest, for example the Geoffrey Pope Building has undergone extensive energy mapping, including thermal imaging assessments, to provide energy savings. You can read the full report here.


  • The University is in the catchment area of South West Water for management of water supply and waste water treatment. South West Water have management systems in place which are certified to ISO9001:2008, ISO14001:2004, ISO27001:2005 and ISO17025:2005 to ensure water quality and to minimise environmental impacts. Find out more about SWW's environmental policy here.
  • The University utilises the International Standards of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) on projects to ensure our water management is to the highest standards. Find out more about the BREEAM water assessment criteria here.
  • Water consumption tracking – working to improve our data capture via our data management system and reduce our overall water consumption. Read our 2021/22 Water Consumption and Reuse Report for an example. We are also tracking our water reuse, such as rain water harvesting, details of which can be found on page 2 of the report.
  • A water reduction programme is in place across the University's estate, with the aim to minimise the environmental impact of our water usage. The Propelair project was a Horizon 2020 funded collaboration between the University of Exeter's Centre for Water Systems and Propelair, which included the installation of ultra-low water use toilets. Find out more in the full report here
  • ‌The University operates an Environmental Management System (EMS), in line with and certified to ISO14001. This system contains Operational Control Procedures relating to Spills/Pollution Response, available here:
    OCP006 Spills Management

What can you do?

If everyone at the University switched off equipment when not in use, we could reduce our electricity consumption by around 10%. Please read the following steps and join us in reducing the University's carbon footprint and make a real difference:

  • Switch off lights when not required
  • Switch your PC monitor to automatic powersave mode
  • Unplug unused computers and mobile phone chargers
  • Buy “A” rated energy efficient appliances
  • Report overheating radiators, dripping taps and energy wastage to the Campus Services Helpdesk
  • Learn how to set your Thermostatic Radiator Valve to maintain a constant temperature in your office
  • Communicate with colleagues on saving energy and reducing waste.

If you have any suggestions, comments or need further information, please contact the Sustainability team.