"The beginning of the academic year comes at a time when the whole society is struggling with rising energy prices. Unfortunately, even our University cannot avoid this problem," says Bursar Petr Hofman.
The good news is the declaration by the city of Pilsen that the prices of heat and water will not change in 2023. This means that, for these commodities, we can expect costs approximately identical to the current year (i.e., 28 million CZK for heat and 8 million CZK for water).
Unfortunately, the situation with electricity is different. UWB has fixed prices until the end of 2022. We assume that public universities will be included among the entities whose electricity price will be capped at the amount declared by the government. Even so, we can expect an increase in the entire University's electricity costs to about 70-80 million CZK, which is approximately double this year's costs. It is not yet known whether we will get the resources for this, i.e., whether the contribution that the Ministry of Education and Culture provides to public universities for their operation will be increased or not in view of the development of the energy market.
It is therefore necessary to introduce cost-saving measures, both short-term and long-term.
The Operations and Services workplace will ensure effective use of the existing measurement and regulation systems of energy systems so that we can ensure the most economical operation while observing valid parameters (e.g., temperature).
We must also carry out all activities, such as repairs and investments, with serious consideration of reducing energy consumption.
In cooperation with experts from all University Parts, we are looking for long-term solutions in energy saving and the use of renewable resources.
At the same time, however, I would like to ask all employees and students to help UWB in cost-saving activities within the limits of their possibilities.
Even little things can contribute to savings. Everyone can save, for example, by consistently turning off computer technology, turning off the light where it is not needed, or removing the charger from the socket after charging a phone. Consumption can also be reduced by less frequent use of lifts and conscious use of all electrical appliances, such as kettles, which should only be filled with as much water as we will use, dishwashers, where it is worth checking at what temperature and at what level they are started, etc. And although the price of heat and water will remain at the same level next year as this year, there is certainly room to also reduce these costs with a responsible approach. Surely, everyone can think of other cost-saving steps; after all, many of us already do so at home.
Managers should also implement and require compliance with cost-saving measures in their workplaces.
I firmly believe that the University of West Bohemia has enough capable and responsible employees and students, and the necessary resources, to successfully overcome this difficult period.
Petr Hofman, UWB Bursar