• Energy


GCU’s campus in Glasgow is powered by electricity and natural gas. Electricity is sourced from the National Grid and our on-site Energy Centre. Gas from the Scottish Gas Networks is used to power the Energy Centre and provide additional space and water heating. Gas is also used in our kitchens. In addition to generating electricity, the Energy Centre provides a significant proportion of the Campus’ heat (space and water)

In 2018-19 the University used around 10.5 GWh of electricity (42% generated onsite) and 27 GWh of gas. Whilst electricity use has been decreasing since 2016-17, gas use has increased. The increase is attributed to the Energy Centre whose operation has been under review and is being optimised to produce more heat and generate more electricity. These have resulted in an overall reduction in GHG emission from energy used to power our campus.

Annual energy use at GCU.
Pie chart of sources of energy at GCU (2018-19).
Graph of GHG emissions from energy use at GCU.

Monitoring Energy Consumption

To understand and manage  our electricity consumption, we have installed electricity sub-meters in all our buildings and through our Carbon Management Plan have a number of initiatives to reduce it.

Investing in Energy Efficiency

To reduce energy consumption throughout our estate, we're investing in photosensitive and movement sensors light switches, upgrading lighting to LED, rationalising our servers and using more energy efficient models and installing a power management system for desktop computers.

In addition to the above investments in energy efficiency the University continues to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by investing in: new windows; the Heart of Campus redevelopment; and our commitment to ensuring that any new buildings are rated BREEAM Good (as a minimum). 

Investing in Lower Carbon Energy

Whilst all of the University’s purchased electricity is from renewable sources, carbon accounting standards require that the University use the average carbon intensity for grid electricity in its annual reports (meaning that its emissions from electricity are higher than they would otherwise be).

To overcome this, the University generates a significant proportion of its electricity and heat though a highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plant at it’s Energy Centre, which allows the University to use lower carbon electricity than that available through the grid.