The University of Strasbourg announced an energy sobriety plan on Monday, September 19, due to the subsequent increase in gas and electricity prices. One of the important measures is the closing of university buildings for another two weeks this winter.
Employees of the university learned the news by email this Monday, September 19, shortly after 8 o’clock in the morning. The management of the University of Strasbourg will implement an energy sobriety plan.
The reason: rising energy costs. “Recent developments confirm this significant upward trend for both gas and electricity. This will inevitably have consequences on our energy bill.”explains Michel Deneken, president of the university, who told us that his energy bill will double, increasing from 10 to 20 million euros, out of a total budget of almost 600 million.
Added to this is the inevitable ecological and energy transition. In the face of these challenges, the university proposes to limit the installation of heating over time and to keep the buildings at a temperature of 19 degrees. But the most unexpected announcement is the closure of the buildings for another two weeks this winter: first in January, the start of the school year will take place on January 9 rather than January 2, then during the February school holidays, the restoration will take place remotely for a week.
“During these periods when the premises are closed, few students will be present on the campuses and few courses will be provided.says Michel Deneken, also remotely, and the staff – except in justified exceptional cases – will perform their work from home, teleworking. However, we will make sure that the library is open so that students can work and prepare for exams.
In a video broadcast on the web, Michel Deneken also spoke to the students to explain the need for this sobriety plan and how everyone can contribute at their level to achieve energy savings.
A decision that immediately sparked a reaction from teachers’ unions and administrative, technical and library staff. In a press release, they regret the lack of consultation and the risks this closure could pose to staff and students.
“This situation should be analyzed as one of the harmful consequences of the Law on the Responsibility of Universities (LRU), condemn unions which transferred to the establishments the material and financial management of their buildings and the payroll of the agents without guaranteeing them the security of their funds.
Employee representatives are asking for transparency of the savings that these measures have actually achieved.
In the longer term, the university also wants to work on the implementation of charters: on responsible mobility, a responsible real estate system or even responsible purchasing. Finally, it will be about improving the energy efficiency of the buildings, a renovation estimated at 500 million euros, which cannot be done without state aid.