This saves money and energy, since ULT freezers use huge amounts of power – a single one with an old design can consume nearly as much as four average households. The project, financed by the Carbon Management Fund, is already saving around 35 tonnes of carbon a year, and will pay for itself in less than a decade.
The team are also providing training and instructional materials to tell lab users how to use their freezers more efficiently so they last longer and use less energy; in some cases smart sharing of freezer resources may even mean fewer units are needed. Stickers giving information about the best practice for freezer use have already proved popular.
The second phase of the program is now identifying the next round of priority candidates for replacement – this will be another 10-15 inefficient freezers, with the University helping fund replacement; there will also be some funding available to replace inefficient freezers even if they aren’t on the priority list. In the longer term, similar initiatives are planned for other energy-intensive lab equipment. To discuss any issues around lab sustainability, contact Stefanie Reiss on email@example.com.