• Leon Evans (UBS Vice President Community Welfare) responds to student concerns regarding halls heating;
  • New device saves money for the University but "undermine[s] some basic student welfare needs";
  • University insists that all heating should now be on despite continuing reports of cold bedrooms;
  • Revealed: turning on the heating for the whole University is decided by ONE PERSON;
  • Union to lobby University to make changes to halls heating.

LEON EVANS

Over the past month many students have raised concerns regarding their experience with heating in halls. As a result, I have engaged with the university and wanted to report back on findings, and our next actions.

The University has invested in a new heating system  (eTRV), that is set to save the University's heating bills by 25%- and also decreasing the environmental impact, but issues during this transition period have undermined some basic student welfare needs, and myself and the President are lobbying the University so it is fixed.

The issues:
- Maintenance was done when students had moved into residences, instead of being done over the summer, and this wasn't communicated to students.
- The decision as to when to turn on heating is taken by one person.
- The heating is only turned on when the thermostat in the room detects the temperature to be below 19 degrees, but the thermostat is placed close to the radiator instead of in the centre of the room like conventional thermostats and the room is around 3 degrees colder by a closed window.
-There is no way of turning the heating down; the fact that some people want their room cooler should not have to involve them opening a window.
-The heating only comes on when you are in the room and cuts off at 11pm. This means if you don't get back to your room before 11pm, heating will not be turned on until the next day at 8am

What can you do?
-We have been informed by the University that all heating SHOULD be on, so if yours still isn't on, email the reception for your halls complex and cc in vp.communitywelfare@brunel.ac.uk and janet.byran@brunel.ac.uk
- There is a button on the thermostat that you can push to increase the thermostat up to 21 degrees for an hour, and there is no limit on the amount of times you can do that.

Following your feedback the Union will:
- Ensure that provisions are put in place, so that maintenance work doesn't disrupt
- Lobby the University to move the decision over when the heating goes on to the reception in halls complexes.
- Lobby for the temperature regulator  to move into the middle of rooms and increase the base temperature from 19 degrees to 21 degrees in line with the residential properties.
- Lobby the University to investigate ways of students being able to turn down the temperature in rooms without students having to open their windows
- See if a control can be put in place to ensure that even if you are out of your room all day, your heating will still come on for a period.

As a Union we are committed to representing you, on issues that are key to you, and we will continue to lobby on your behalf.

Leon Evans

Vice President Community Welfare

Union of Brunel Students