Sustainability at Our Student Halls

Information about sustainability

On this page we have collected information about sustainability in our student halls of residence. Students can also find useful tips on environmentally friendly living.

We contribute to the fight against climate change at the halls of residence by means of eco-friendly energy and tips how to work actively against environmental pollution in everyday life by means of a few little tricks.

Waste, Energy, and Environment

Energy saving campaign “Flip the Switch”

The “Flip the Switch” campaign was launched in winter semester 2022/23.

It is an energy-saving campaign for students – launched by our umbrella organisation, the Deutsche Studentenwerk (DSW). All German Studentenwerke can participate here with their halls of residence. The Studentenwerk Leipzig is also taking part.

Due to the energy crisis and the drastic increase in energy prices in Germany, we were all reminded of what we have actually known for a long time: Fossil fuels are finite resources and we must indeed “flip the switch”, both in our minds and in our everyday lives. Saving energy has never been as important as it is now – not only to reduce costs, but above all for our climate.

Environmental Tutors

Since the summer semester 2012, environmental tutors help residents of student residence halls by means of important tips concerning ecofriendly life and saving energy. You can save up to two tons of CO2 every year in a shared flat using green electricity!

  • Switch the lights off when you leave the room.
  • Avoid unnecessary light sources, e.g. many lights switched on in one room.
  • Save hot water (water heating is the second largest energy consumer in the household after the heating!).
  • Close all taps after having used them and check that they do not leak.
  • Use the electric kettle to boil water and not the hotplate, as it consumes more energy.
  • Use the pot or pan size matching the size of the hotplate when cooking.
  • Do not use dented or crooked pots and pans, as they transfer the heat badly.
  • Regulate the heat correctly, i.e. reduce the temperature in time, e.g. when the water boils.
  • Use a pressure cooker to save up to 30 percent of the energy of a normal pot.
  • Avoid using microwave ovens, as they consume a lot of energy.
  • Pay attention to the energy consumption when you buy a new device. Only buy a new device when the old one has really done its duty in order to reduce electronic waste.
  • Turn off secret power guzzlers like stand-by devices, as they consume up to 20 W.
    • If a device has no proper off switch, you should plug the device out of the socket or use a turn-off multiple socket.
    • You can recognize stand-by devices by a burning lamp, illuminated clock, the device or the power supply unit being warm with the device turned off.

Environmental Tutors

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Educational Video About Waste Separation

To facilitate understanding and implementation of the special features of waste separation, the Studentenwerk Leipzig has produced an explanatory film on waste separation in cooperation with the Leipzig city cleaning service. The film is especially helpful for international students, who often are familiar with other types of waste separation systems.

For renovation work on our halls of residence in particular, state-of-the-art heating and ventilation systems and building control systems were installed. Building control systems serve to control HVACR systems e.g. according to the outdoor temperature/daylight and thus save heating costs and energy. Furthermore, the Egain system was installed in the large student halls of residence to save heating energy. The system continuously analyses weather data (temperature, wind, solar radiation, rain, snow) and calculates the most suitable heating control on this basis. With the help of this new control instrument, it is possible to save approximately 100,000 euros per year in heating costs and about 405 tons CO₂ emissions. This system therefore not only minimizes operating costs, but also contributes to environmental protection.

The new “En:key” system for intelligent heating control is being installed in the Mainzer Straße 2a hall of residence, whose modernisation began in 2021. The system uses a room sensor to determine whether someone is in the room and regulates the room temperature accordingly. In the future, it will be installed in all dormitory rooms undergoing modernisation.

Other technical possibilities are energy-saving lamps or water-saving mixing faucets, which are installed in all halls of residence.

Fixed rents without any additional payments often tempt people to use power, water, and heating carelessly. Positively influencing the consumer behavior is the most important possibility to save heating, energy, and water. The first step towards this goal is regular information. All tenants as well as the Studentenwerk employees in charge can see the consumed heating, power and water as well as the waste production of each month and recognize deviations early. Additionally, tenants are provided with numerous energy-saving tips.

The halls of residence of the Studentenwerk consistently use district heating and, since 1 January 2011, green electricity.

Photovoltaic power stations and thermal solar energy plants

The Studentenwerk Leipzig operates three photovoltaic power stations, two of those on the roofs of halls of residence. The third power station is located on the roof of the Center for Humanistic Studies of Leipzig University and was partly financed by students’ loans.

Location and year of construction
Residence hall Nürnberger Straße 42-48, 2003
Residence hall Mainzer Str. 2, 2006
Cafeteria Beethovenstraße 15, 2007

In addition, there are three thermal solar energy plants to generate thermal energy on the roof of or installed to halls of residence. The largest is located on the roof of the hall of residence at Johannes-R.-Becher-Straße. It was installed in 1999 within the scope of a research project of the TU Chemnitz. The generated heat is applied directly to the halls of residence and thus reduces the consumption and costs of the district heating.

Energy performance certificate

In 2008, Studentenwerk Leipzig has obtained energy performance certificates for all halls of residence. They provide information about the energetic quality of buildings and are part of the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) that took effect in October 2007.

The specific energy consumption values determined at the halls of residence are between 80 and 150 kilowatt hours per square meter per year – that corresponds to a very good energy balance, ranging on a performance scale between the values for “new building” and “good energetic modernization”.