Make the switch and save energy

Let’s flip the switch together, take a new approach and change the way we heat and power student residences.

An initiative by

Saving energy has never been so important

Energy prices are rising sharply and the climate crisis is proving to be a major challenge. For many student services organisations, rent increases and price adjustments in the canteens have unfortunately become unavoidable and cannot be ruled out in the future either. As the German National Association for Student Affairs, we want to encourage students to embrace energy-saving measures despite these challenges – out of love for the environment.

Small steps make a big impact

Minimum effort is required to save energy on a day-to-day basis. It’s the simple things that make all the difference. And when everyone plays their part, major change is possible. So let’s get started, let’s flip the switch!
This is how you save energy

The #myenergychallenge
Are you up to the challenge?

Share your personal energy-saving challenge to Instagram in reels and stories using the hashtag #myenergychallenge. And don’t forget to tag and nominate your flatmates, friends and followers. After all, we’re in this together!


Every challenge has major energy-saving potential

Test your
energy knowledge!

How is the energy efficiency of household devices labelled in Europe?

Twenty energy-saving tips
for everyday use

Small tips to make a big impact: how to save valuable energy in your student accommodation.


Put a lid on every pot

This will reduce the energy consumed when cooking by approx. 50%. And save you plenty of time.

Use the fan oven instead of top and bottom heat

You’ll use approx. 15% less energy when baking.

Preheat the oven? Don’t bother!

And use approx. 20% less electricity.

7 °C is cold enough for all types of food

For every degree warmer that you set your fridge, it will use approx. 6% less electricity.

The 3-second rule applies for the fridge door

It shouldn’t be left open for longer than this. Because for every minute the door is open, a fridge needs approx. 5 minutes plus additional energy to bring the temperature back down again.

Use a kettle instead of the electric stove:

It’s a more efficient and quicker way to boil water. With a kettle, you’ll save approx. 30% more energy for 1.5 litres of water.

Extra tip: Take note of the quantity.

If you boil more water than necessary, energy and CO2 emissions increase unnecessarily.

Cook together

Cook together with your flatmates, your neighbours or your friends more often. It’s a fun thing to do and minimises use of the cooker and other kitchen appliances.

Go to the canteen

When cooking or baking for an hour, your cooker alone uses between one and three kWh of electricity, depending on its energy efficiency rating. This figure does not include the use of additional kitchen appliances. You are saving energy and money that would been spent on groceries by going to eat in the canteen.

Defrost the freezer compartment

The thicker the layer of ice in the freezer compartment, the more energy your refrigerator consumes. When defrosting, simply remove all food, switch off the fridge and, where necessary, use salt to help melt the ice.

Store food in the fridge correctly

Your fridge performs best when full. When stocking up the fridge, make sure you pay attention to the temperature zones: the bottom of the fridge is the coldest part, with the temperature getting warmer the higher up you go. The shelves in the door are where it is warmest.

Heating done right:

reducing the temperature in a room by just one degree can save you approx. 6% on your heating costs.

Ventilate the room occasionally

i.e. turn off the heating and leave the windows wide open for several minutes. This will allow for an exchange of air in the room, while the furniture and walls retain the heat. Three times a day for five minutes is enough during the winter.

Pull down the shutters in the evening:

this will reduce heat loss by approx. 20%.

Close the door(s)!

By closing all the doors in your accommodation, you can reduce heat loss by up to 5%.

Bye bye, stand-by!

Multiple plugs with switches can be used to turn off electrical devices completely and use approx. 8% less power.

Pull the plug:

remove your chargers from the wall when you’re not using them.

Use a laptop instead of a PC:

a laptop in normal operation needs less than half as much power as a multimedia PC. Tablets and smartphones are even more economical: the electricity costs come to just a few euros each year for charging the new devices.

Switch on energy-saving mode

Set the screen brightness, automatic power shut-off or sleep mode on your devices for power savings of up to 10%.

Move furniture around

Particularly in small rooms, cleverly arranging your furniture pays off. Positioning your desk or couch directly in front of the heating will lead to an accumulation of heat and prevent the thermostat from regulating the temperature correctly. This could see the amount of heat you consume increase by up to 24%.

TV nights together

Gather round and watch your favourite series together with flatmates, neighbours or friends instead of sitting alone in front of the TV or laptop. The more people getting together, the more energy saved.

Go out more often

It generally applies that the less time spent at home, the less energy is consumed there. After class, why not visit a friend, play some sport or simply enjoy being out and about – make the most of your time in third-level study.

Water-saving shower head:

air is mixed with the water and water consumption is reduced by approx. 50%.

Shower colder, for shorter periods and with breaks:

if you shower at 37 °C instead of 40 °C, energy savings of up to 10% are possible. And you can simply turn off the water while applying shampoo or when shaving.

Wash your hands with cold water:

soap works at colder temperatures too.

Avoid using the hairdryer or towel dry your hair well beforehand:

good for your hair and for the environment.

Hang up the washing:

a dryer emits up to 84 kg CO2 each year – be more climate neutral.

30 °C for clean laundry:

when you do two washing cycles per week at 30 °C instead of 60 °C, you could save up to €17 on your heating costs each year.

Charge smart

Universities and libraries often have workspaces with power outlets. Charge your smartphone, tablet or laptop here instead of at home. In some cities, you can even charge your devices on the train.

Study in the library

When you leave your apartment to study elsewhere, you are not only going somewhere less distracting but also saving on the power and heating consumed at home.

Media overview

Saving more energy together

We represent around 2.5 million students across Germany with 57 student service organisations. Approx. 200,000 of these students have found a home in one of 1,700 student residences. When we all make an effort to save just a bit of energy, it becomes a movement that makes a big impact.

Be a part of this big energy-saving campaign and challenge your students to the #myenergychallenge.

Find out more
Studentenwerke / Studierendenwerke