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Energy and carbon

Here at the University of Bradford, we recognise our local, national and international responsibility to support positive change to challenges of climate change and carbon reduction. Our gas and electricity usage on city campus equates to around 7600tCO2e around a third of our overall carbon emissions as a university. As a city centre campus, we operate a district heat network served by gas fired CHP engines and gas boilers to heat our buildings and provide hot water. We also generate around 50% of our electricity usage on site via these CHP engines.

A programme of decarbonisation workstreams have been devised to optimise the way our systems operate, reduce our baseload by replacement of infrastructure, increase our renewable generation and improve our building fabric to prevent excessive heat loss. We have already started on this journey with our successful Public Sector Decarbonisation Programme Phase 1 and Phase 3a funding bids for in 2021 and 2022 which completed the cladding of Richmond Building and improving the energy performance of Unique Fitness.

We have a number of low carbon technologies on campus including:

  • Solar PV
  • Solar Thermal
  • Air source heat pumps

We use throughout the campus, super efficient LEDs combined with automatic sensor control to save energy. 

Approximately 33% of the university’s emissions are attributed to scope 1 and 2 emissions, direct emissions from gas and electricity usage within our building stock. The remainder makes up our scope 3 emissions, from water, waste, procurement, travel. 

We have made great strides in reducing our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions over the last 10 years with projects that have improved building fabric (external cladding, re-roofing and insulation, window replacement), removing of building stock from our portfolio and managing our space utilisation more efficiently, expanding and upgrading controls through our Building Management System (BMS) and introduction of on-site generation (CHP and Solar PV).  

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) 3a

The University of Bradford are pleased to announce that we have now completed three Salix grant-funded project. We recognise our local, national and international responsibility to support positive change to challenges of climate change and this project is an exciting enabling stage to allow the University to decarbonise the campus and move towards a Net Zero Carbon operation. This Project is a sector leading engineering project that forms part of a phased approach to decarbonising the university estate and an exemplar for transforming an aged estate to a modern energy efficient decarbonised infrastructure linking directly to the future estate strategyThe principles of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) allows funding to accelerate the decarbonisation of public sector estates by the removal of fossil fuel heating systems. In this case, UoB were successful in a request for £3.264m funding to install an Air Source Heat Pump, fabric upgrades, solar panels, metering, ventilation upgrades and install electric hot water systems, all whilst removing a gas fired boiler from our internal district heating network.  

A student walking outside library

Metering rollout

In order to understand where and when we use energy, it is essential that we have reliable metering in place. As part of the bid, we extended our heat metering across our district heating network in order to monitor our heat demand across campus. A further 61 meters were installed across 9 buildings which provide information through the University’s BMS.

Heat meter

HVAC Improvements

We are constantly developing our heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve comfort and save energy. We have installed modern sensors and controllers, optimised start and stop times.  

Room with improved lights and sensors

Solar panels

The project included for 1923m2 of solar panels across Horton, Ashfield and the Sports Centre roofs, totalling 405kWp with a predicted generation of 346,841 kWh per annum. This will provide an estimated 73tCO2 saving annually, with a financial saving of circa £111,000 each year. 


Overall Solar PV system 

Annual Kwh (Grid feed in) 

Sports Centre 

Solar PV - 184kWp  



Solar PV - 177.67KWp 



Solar PV - 43.6kWp 








Air source heat pump

In order to decarbonise our heat network and move away from gas fired boilers and CHP, we have installed a two-phase air to water ASHP in the Sports Centre, which provides 100% of the heating requirements for the gym and the pool. 

Swimming pool in Unique Fitness Gym