The increasing number of students and employees along with new infrastructure requirements for research and education are significant drivers of ETH Zurich’s overall energy needs. Balancing this development with the increasing need for energy is a key challenge that ETH Zurich is facing as an institution with a strong commitment to sustainability. Guided by the university’s comprehensive Energy Concept ("Energieleitbild", adopted in 2013) and in close coordination between all relevant units and decision-making bodies, ETH Zurich is constantly improving its energy efficiency.
Total energy demand per FTE (final energy)
in MWh per FTE
Direct energy used by ETH Zurich (defined as fuels like natural gas, oil, woodchips burned in own facilities, and production from photovoltaic cells) was 30.2 GWh in 2015 and 33.9 GWh in 2016. Indirect energy use (defined as electricity and district heating from outside providers) was 135.3 GWh in 2015 and 134.8 GWh in 2016.
The university’s energy-related flagship project is the "Anergy Grid" at Campus Hönggerberg, which is working on ways to revolutionize the heating and cooling system on the campus in the medium and long term.
Over the past decade, the total electricity demand of ETH Zurich has slightly increased, mainly due to operational costs related to the constant growth in numbers of students and employees, and electricity-intensive activities related to education and research. The share of total heating demand, in turn, has decreased due to the comparably warm winters, renovations of old buildings, and the operation of newly established efficient buildings with high standards.