Across Europe, Students Achieving Valuable Energy Savings (SAVES) supports students in minimising their carbon footprint in their accommodation; promoting energy efficiency, and installing good sustainability habits which last beyond their time in education. 

In the UK, NUS' Student Switch Off campaign has had an incredible impact on the sustainability agenda across higher education. In 2016/17, it reached over 130,000 students, cutting 1,089 tonnes of carbon and saving the sector over £200,000. SAVES is the overall project name that covers the expansion of the UK Student Switch Off campaign to Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden. 

Building on the success of our EU Intelligent Energy Europe-funded SAVES until 2016 (which took place in student university dormitories), 2017 marks the start of the next phase. Thanks to an EU Horizon 2020 grant, we have been able to expand our work to make an even greater impact, through SAVES2.  

Through the Horizon 2020 grant we will continue to expand UK’s Student Switch Off campaign to Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden.  Lasting 42 months from May 2017, in addition to running Student Switch Off in all the participating countries, the project will highlight the significant benefits of smart meters for students – in monitoring and minimising their energy usage in their private sector, rented accommodation. We aim to reduce students' energy usage as well as their exposure to fuel poverty, benefitting both the planet and their pockets.  

Erasmus Students’ Network, European Students’ Union, and the Student Hotel/Class of 2020, will form part of the project's communications and networking advisory board. 

Here are some of SAVES' initial achievements (2014-2017), that we will build on this time around:  

  • 18% of students in dormitories across the participating countries signed up 

  • 4 GWh of energy saved – which is 1,727 tonnes of CO2 

  • 99% of participating students said they would keep up the energy saving habits they'd developed