There is an ongoing discussion in Swedish society about electricity shortage due to increased electrical consumption and that several nuclear reactors have an unscheduled or prolonged downtime due to service.
Yesterday the Lund University vice-chancellor has decided to rapidly minimize the electrical consumption at Lund University and urged all to do their best. The reason is that the Swedish Energy Agency has warned that they might implement rolling blackouts to ensure that prioritized customers such as hospitals, schools etc. will not be affected of too much stress of the electrical grid to handle. As first step the rolling blackouts will be 2 - 4 hours long. The time span where these rolling blackouts can occur has been tied to the maintenance of the nuclear power plants, which is scheduled between 9 December and 18 December.
Flatten the curve (again!)
In order prevent this as much as possible, it is important to decrease our energy usage wherever we can. In a way, it is all about flattening the curve (of power consumption, this time), something we should be very familiar with already. Here is a link to the Energy Agency website: Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) counts (energimyndigheten.se)
What is the university doing?
You might have received an email regarding this from the university in regards of how it will affect your studies/work. The university is doing its part by, for example, shutting down and trying to decrease the power consumption at research facilities (such as Max IV) and laboratories. Also decreasing the usage of forced ventilation and decreasing the temperature at offices. We have already changed much of our lamps to be LED but that work will speed up from now on. Educational activities will most probably be very little affected.
What are we at LU Accommodation doing now?
We are ensuring that all electrical locks and fire alarms in our housing stock are ready to withstand a much longer electrical blackout than the Swedish energy agency have in any of their contingency plans.
Further, we will reprogram our laundry machine booking tablets, if possible, to add laundry slots from 22.00 to 01.00 and from 05.00. We will not block any existing laundry slots!
We are also stockpiling enough salt to ensure that those housing areas that have stairs outside can be treated to minimize ice, and keep them safe all through the winter.
We will not lower the indoor heating or lower the effect in the ventilation system.
Lastly, we will be following up with our property owners to try to get data about heating, warm water, and electricity consumption to show you your positive efforts!
What do we hope you as a tenant will consider for the next coming months?
It is also up to each person to do their part in decreasing the energy consumption and together we can make a big difference. Here are some tips and tricks on how to save energy
• Not doing laundry during peak hours (08.00-11.00 and 17.00-19.00), and washing full machines, when possible,
• When you do your laundry try to use 30/40 degrees instead of 60 degrees if it is only lightly dirty.
• Hang dry clothes in room temperature instead of using a tumble dryer or drying cabinet,
• Take shorter and/or colder showers (the heating of water is a large consumer of energy),
• Not wash dishes under running water but let it soak,
• Making sure to turn off lights and other things that consume power when they are not used, or when you are leaving a room.
• Defrost your freezer if there is ice
• Make a fault report if the sealing profile/weatherstrip is not working well (for example that your freezer/freezer compartment gets filled with ice to quick)
• Use the electric kettle to boil water and not the stove
• Turn off the water when you lather up and shampoo your hair.
• Also, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
• Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Say goodbye to standby. Turn off your devices with the power switch and avoid standby mode. Some devices (for example router) draw almost as much power when they are on standby and not in use as when they are switched on.
Electronics are sometimes better off if they are switched off because the heat generation in the devices means that they last a shorter time.
Now is a great opportunity to get to know your corridor's friends or neighbours and for example cook in a larger scale together!
Lastly, we do not want you to make a complete halt in your life just make some small alternations and consider this specific circumstance and soon as we know winter will be over. Also, you will feel much better taking the stairs daily, using the cell phone less and be near your neighbours for company.