Energy-Saving Measures at FH Münster

Some steps are required by law (Germany's short-term and medium-term energy supply security ordinances) and we will have to take them:

  • The temperature in offices, lecture halls, classrooms, and libraries will not exceed 19°C
  • The temperature in labs, etc. will not exceed 18°C
  • Radiator valves/thermostats will be kept at 2.5 at all times (even in times of absence over weekends, etc.)
  • No heating of hallways or common areas (that are not used as accommodations).
  • Space heaters and the like are prohibited.
  • Hot water will be shut off in restrooms (but will still be available in break rooms and labs)
  • Outdoor lighting of buildings and parking lots typically will be shut off from 10:00 PM to 4:30 AM; safety/security lighting will be left on.
  • Our heating systems will undergo technical optimization.
  • Building insulation will be inspected for optimization potential.

We will also take some voluntary steps:

  • The combined heat and power plant at Steinfurt Campus has been turned off. It runs on gas and normally produces electricity and heat.
  • Air conditioning in all rooms will be shut off or adjusted where it is absolutely necessary.
  • The heating period will be started as late as possible in accordance with the lower target room temperatures.
  • Indoor lighting will be optimized in compliance with workplace safety (motion sensors will be adjusted and lights converted to LEDs).

Other steps are being considered and coordinated with the departments and services.

The success of our savings efforts can already be measured:

Gas Consumption between September and December in the FH-Buildings in Münster and HGI (remote heating)

Remote heating in MWh

Gas Consuption at Steinfurt campus and HGI between September and December

Natural gas in m³

Ideas Competition Energy-Savings

At the end of November, several ideas from the energy-saving ideas competition received awards. But where do we go from here?

The ideas submitted ranged from pointers to individual energy guzzlers on the FH campus to concrete ideas for savings and communication strategies. We are already implementing many of these ideas but, after careful consideration, we have also decided against implementing some of them. Here are some examples of ideas and our implementation possibilities and status:

The optimization of the automatic system for the external blinds has already been implemented

The automatic raising and lowering of the roller shutters have been reduced: To keep heat in the building overnight, the automatic shutters are now closed in the evening and opened in the morning. During the day, they no longer go up and down automatically, but can of course still be operated manually. In order to be protected from damage, the shutters continue to be raised automatically in windy conditions.

We are working on an "electricity traffic light"

We have been drawing green electricity for many years. However, the entire electricity grid is fed with power from various sources: nuclear energy, natural gas, lignite and hard coal, wind energy, hydropower, solar energy, biomass, etc. This so-called electricity mix is always somewhat different: in the midday sun, the share of solar energy in the electricity mix is significantly higher, the share of wind energy also depends on the weather.

An "electricity traffic light" should be made available to everyone. This will make it easy to see which electricity mix is currently available and to make decisions based on this, when to start energy-intensive processes that are flexible in terms of time - this is very useful not only at work, but also at home (for example, when switching on the washing machine). Above all, however, an energy traffic light supports awareness of the availability of "clean" energy.

It is not possible to implement a shutdown of the lifts

Several people have submitted the idea of either partially shutting down elevators or at least using notices to ask people not to use them.

This sounds like a very sensible idea at first, but for various reasons it is hardly feasible. In terms of accessibility, sufficient lifts should always be accessible. Moreover, the savings potential is very small, as one trip consumes only insignificantly more electricity compared to standby operation.

How You Can Save Energy at Work and at Home

At Work

  • Keep radiator valves/thermostats at 2.5 at all times (even in times of absence). Keeping the temperature in your office consistent is more energy-efficient than reheating rooms that have cooled down; the temperature will automatically be lowered at night.
  • Dim your screen if possible, as every percentage point lower saves a little energy.
  • Avoid using screensavers.
  • When you leave the office, shut off your monitors and other equipment or unplug them/use a switchable power strip (to prevent standby mode).
  • Only print documents if it is really necessary.
  • Turn off the light when you leave the room.
  • When airing out rooms without an air handler, make sure to open the windows fully and, if possible, cross-ventilate for a few minutes at a time multiple times a day (rather than leaving the windows cracked for extended periods).

At Home

Entire House

  • Lower the temperature (1 °C lower saves about 6% on energy).
    Recommended temperatures:
    • Bedroom: 16-18 °C
    • Kitchen: 18-20 °C
    • Living room and nursery: 20-22 °C
    • Bathroom: 23 °C
  • Lower the heat at night and when the house will be empty for extended periods.
  • Keep doors closed.
  • Close any shutters at night
  • Air out rooms for a few minutes at a time multiple times a day by opening windows fully and, if possible, creating cross-ventilation instead of leaving windows cracked for extended periods.
  • When leaving a room, turn off the light and prevent TVs, stereo systems, etc. from going into standby mode.
  • Do not place furniture or other larger items in front of your radiators. In old buildings with poor insulation, you can also install reflectors behind the radiators.
  • Seal your windows and doors; if necessary, hang a heavy curtain in front of drafty doors.
  • Bleed your radiators and have them serviced.


  • Boiling with a lid on the pot uses less energy.
  • Turn off the stove/oven early and use the residual heat when cooking and baking. Use your oven's convection mode and avoid preheating.
  • Cook more than you need and freeze leftovers in individual portions-reheating a single meal uses less energy than cooking it.
  • Set your refrigerator temperature to 7 °C-this is sufficient for food.
  • Routinely thaw out your refrigerator and freezer.


  • Take shorter, colder showers and replace your shower head with a low-flow one.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Wash your hands with cold water.

Financial Support

The rising prices for energy and food hit students particularly hard and cause great concern for many. Therefore, we would like to inform you about financial assistance:

Energy Subsidy

In december, the Bundesrat approved the energy subsidy for students. All students enrolled in higher education on December 1, 2022, shall receive a one-time payment of 200 euros. The prerequisite for this is a place of residence or "habitual abode" in Germany on the aforementioned cut-off date. You have to apply for the payment via a digital application platform, which is currently only available in German here.

In addition, all private households are entitled to the so-called December allowance. This means that the state will pay gas and district heating customers a one-off December allowance with immediate effect. This does not take into account actual gas consumption in December, but instead uses the annual consumption forecast by the natural gas supplier in September 2022. This estimated annual consumption is divided by 12 and multiplied by the gas price agreed for December. The sum calculated in this way is then the amount of relief.

To get this December allowance, you usually do not have to do anything. Those who have their own contracts with the energy supplier receive the relief amount directly from the supplier: in the case of a direct debit authorization, the instalment is simply not collected in December; in the case of a standing order, this should be interrupted. However, who has forgotten that: There is nothing to worry about! The money will be refunded later. Tenants, who do not have a direct contract with the supplier, but pay for gas or district heating via their ancillary costs, receive the payment with their next operating cost statement. Property owners have one year to submit the operating cost statement, in which the allowance is then offset against the advance payments and the actual costs.

From March 2023, the electricity, gas and heat price brakes will then come into effect, which will also retroactively cover the months of January and February 2023. This means that you will pay 12 cents per kilowatt-hour for 80 percent of your consumption of gas, and the capped price for heat will be 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. For the remaining consumption, you have to pay the normal market price. That is why saving energy continues to pay off. The annual consumption forecast for 2023 in September 2022 is decisive for the amount of the quota. In March, you will then additionally receive a one-off retroactive relief amount for the months of January and February. For tenants, their property owners must pass on the relief received as part of the operating cost statement. In certain constellations, this means a reduction in the fixed advance payment for operating costs.

The electricity price brake caps the electricity price for households at 40 cents per kilowatt-hour. This also applies to a quota amounting to 80 percent of the previous year's consumption. The price brakes are effective for the entire year 2023, with the prospect of an extension until April 2024.

Subsidy for increased heating costs

Even if you are not otherwise entitled to social benefits, people with low incomes who cannot pay their heating bill or their heating bill arrears may be entitled to assistance from the Job Center or Social Welfare Office in the month of the heating bill. To do this, you must submit an application for a subsidy for increased heating costs. Claims from ancillary and heating cost bills only count as needs in the month in which you receive the additional claim, which means that the application must be made in the same month in which you receive the bill. Here you can find the application forms:

Hardship Scholarship

On the recommendation of the AStA, FH Münster awards a hardship scholarship. Students who find themselves in financial emergency situations can apply for a hardship scholarship (500 € per semester) at any time. Eligible students are Bachelor students from the 2nd Bachelor semester and Master students from the 1st Master semester. So far, we have supported about 10 to 15 students per year at FH Münster with a hardship scholarship, financed by our own university foundation. In order to enable even more students with a lack of financial support to receive such a hardship scholarship, we called for a donation campaign this fall, which fortunately many have already followed. Applications can be made through the AStA's social counseling service.

Financing your Studies

Here you find some help how to finance your studies such as grants and loans:


Energy Counseling

Energy consultants advise on heat exchange, saving energy, improving energy efficiency, photovoltaics, and new, energy-efficient construction. The first consultation is free of charge in Münster and Steinfurt.

Counseling and Support for Legal Disputes and Financial Troubles

Due to skyrocketing energy prices, you may find yourself in a dispute with your energy supplier and experience financial hardship. If you need help, you can get support here:

NRW Consumer Advice Center

Münster Helpdesk
Aegidiistraße 46
48143 Münster
Phone: +49 (0) 251 208653 - 01


On-Site Consultation

Caritasverband für die Stadt Münster e. V.
Josefstrasse 2
48151 Münster
Phone: +49 (0) 251 53009340

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