Population growth and its concentration in urban areas, has caused a significant increase in energy consumption, which is saturating the regeneration capacity of natural ecosystems, both to produce resources and to assimilate the waste generated . This situation is causing serious damage to human health and the environment due to air pollution and the inadequate transfer and confinement of hazardous waste; besides the high social and economic costs derived from this situation.
In this context, and within the framework of its social responsibility, the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon has established a policy of efficient use of energy for several years now, in order to promote the culture of proper use of this resource, which has allowed achieving important energy and economic savings, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Among the activities currently promoted among members of the university community, is to provide guidance and technical support to save energy in buildings; carrying out some changes that become imperceptible for most users, but with which significant energy savings are obtained. An example of this situation is the adjustment of the temperature of the air conditioning systems in classrooms and offices, which is 24 ° C in the summer and 20 ° C in the winter.
With regard to lighting in the university’s facilities, the use of natural light in classrooms and offices is promoted thanks to the architectural designs with which the new buildings are built, in addition to the fact that the lights must remain off and the computers they must be turned off when they are not used or at the end of the working day.
On the other hand, it is recommended to set the screensaver / black mode or delete it; use laptops to be more efficient, use LCD screens and activate the energy saving system of computer systems.
In order to show the results derived from the participation of the university community in the program, the UANL publishes semiannually the evolution graphs of the electric energy consumption.
The Sustainability Secretariat issued five technical guidelines to promote the efficient use of energy, which support, guide and evaluate the policies and recommendations that are applied in each of the university dependencies; Among those that stand out for their importance are the “Technical guidelines for the acquisition of air conditioning equipment” and the “Technical guidelines for the fitting of luminaires for classrooms”, which have directly influenced the decrease in the consumption of electricity, that 75% of the energy consumption is attributable to these kind of equipment.
Even though in the last six years the student population increased by 34%, from 141,971 to 190,169 in the period between 2011 and 2016. Energy consumption had a significant decrease going from 615 to 493 kWh / person-year during the same period.
There is increasing social and institutional awareness to use energy efficiently and increase the consumption of energy from renewable sources to abate the serious effects of climate change; and have a sustainable development.
Renewable energies are the alternative of the future, they are clean energies, friendly to the environment and reduce the risks to human health, so it is essential to change the energy matrix.
The UANL is a macro university where more than 200,000 people study and work daily. It is in the process of initial implementation of the use of renewable energies, despite the magnitude and return of the investment that this action implies. Some university faculties have implemented electric and heat energy generation systems, using solar cells, aerogeneration and solar thermal systems.