The URV considers the "closing of classes" and the delay of the "turning on the heating"

Catalan universities warn that they will not be able to face the increase in energy rates since up to now they are paying a price between 3 and 5 times lower than the market when acquiring it via the Consorcio de Servicios Universitarios de Catalunya (CSUC), which has opened a new tender because this contract ends in 2022.

Faced with this situation and fearing that the price of energy will triple or quadruple, the Catalan universities have reported that they have transferred his "great concern" in the Ministry of Research and Universitiesto which they have asked to apply a crash plan with additional funds in the framework of the 2023 budget negotiation.

To cope with the rising cost of energy, Minister Joaquim Nadal, asked yesterday in parliamentary commission "extra resources and a specific plan from the Government", since the increase "will also affect the rest of the ministries."

The universities have said that it is difficult to accurately estimate how much the energy bill will amount to in 2023 since it will depend on the economic conditions that are agreed with the companies awarded the bidding process that the CSUC has initiated.

The University of Barcelona, ​​which with some 62,000 students is the one with the most students in Catalonia, foresees an additional cost of 19 million euros due to the increase in the price of energy, but he trusts that he will be able to reduce this impact both in the tender that the CSUC is promoting and with the implementation of energy saving measures.

The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), for its part, has calculated that by 2023 the price of electricity, “in the worst case scenario”, could be multiplied by 5.74 and that of gas by 7.45 compared to the price of 2022.

These amounts "are unaffordable for public universities" and in the case of the UPC "they force unrealistic budgets to be prepared, since the income to cover the extra energy cost is not guaranteed", they have added from the university.

In order to reduce energy consumption and be able to cope with price increases, the UPC Governing Council approved on October 27 an energy saving program with measures such as the progressive substitution of gas boilers for more efficient systems and improvements in the insulation of roofs and windows.

Other measures include maintaining the maximum temperature of heated spaces at 19 °C and the minimum temperature of refrigerated spaces at 27 °Cwhile in buildings without thermal control systems, the UPC will activate the heating from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in winter.

The University of Lleida (UdL), for its part, has calculated that it will pay around 1.6 million euros (median figure of recent years) to about 6.6 million, an amount that he has considered "totally unaffordable if additional funds are not obtained." This university has drawn up an energy saving plan that includes installing self-consumption photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings, increasing the already existing self-consumption power from 300 kWp to 550 kWp. It is also replacing traditional lights with more efficient ones with LED technology and movement sensors to turn off lights in spaces that are not being used.

The Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) It has estimated that energy spending will quadruple and to reduce energy consumption it has indicated that it is improving the exterior insulation, adjusting the temperatures of the spaces and activating and stopping the air conditioning and lighting installations depending on the occupancy of the spaces.

At the level of renewable energies, the UAB has indicated that it is "deploying quite a bit" photovoltaic solar energy since in 2022 it has tendered three installations for an amount of 500,000 euros.

For Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the increase in the cost of energy could mean allocating 5% of the university budget to this chapterwhich "is a very high cost."

The UPF has indicated that it is working on an energy saving plan that has not yet been formally approved and that includes measures such as installing photovoltaic panels, continuing to install LED lights or reducing hours in some buildings, and has ensured that "in no case We will close no facility."

The University of Girona (UdG) forecasts that the price of energy will multiply by a coefficient between 2.9 in a stable four-year horizon and 5.8 in a one-year horizon. To reduce energy consumption, this university is deploying the "Strategic Greening Plan" although with a "limited" margin of action since it has stated that it is one of the most efficient in energy savings in Spain.

Calculating a price of energy 60% higher than the current one, lhe Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) has stated that it is taking measures on its different campuses such as the "closure of classes and buildings, delay in turning on the heating and installation of more efficient energy systems".

The Open University of Catalonia (UOC)Finally, he explained that the current cost of energy could be multiplied by 4, which "would have a very large impact on the planning and budget for 2023 and would imply reviewing planned actions and projects." This university has said that it has initiated energy efficiency and improvement plans such as adapting schedules, investing in the renewal of equipment for more efficient ones or installing photovoltaic panels along with other measures that are in the initial phase but that "will not be able to absorb all the increase of the cost”.

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