Energy Sources

This section is based on the latest available data from the Estates Management Record (EMR), which is made publicly available by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, HESA.

The scores for this section are weighted as follows:

Criteria Score % Details
% of renewable energy generated on or offsite compared to consumption of grid electricity. 55% This calculation is EREGONF ÷ EEGELEC × 100%
Total % of renewable energy purchased through green tariffs 45% Taken from (EPREPGTT

As in previous years, universities will be scored by banding values into groups

HESA now provides strict rules for data submission around nulls and zero. Universities are instructed to use null when they do not have the data, and are alerted to the fact that this will mean totals are not calculated by HESA.

People & Planet has interpreted nulls from the viewpoint that scores can only be awarded through transparency. So, for instance if a university submitted a null value for how much onsite CHP they have, we will assume zero and score accordingly. Likewise if a null is returned for percentage renewable energy, it is assumed zero.

Ambiguity regarding renewable energy data

In 2014, an ambiguity in the HESA EMR data came to light when considering data regarding renewable electricity bought through green tariffs. It meant that universities with high percentages of green electricity weren’t necessarily getting full credit for the question involving the EMR field EPREPGTT

EMR field EPREPGTT “Total percentage of renewable energy purchased through green tariffs” (definition) had been interpreted differently by different institutions: some interpreted it as a percentage of green to total electricity; others interpreted it as a percentage of green electricity to total energy consumption. Therefore some universities that use 100% green electricity have submitted much smaller values, e.g. 30%, because they’ve used energy as the denominator.

HESA has clarified this by stating:

'Percentage of renewable energy purchased through green tariffs for the whole estate. We therefore expect the following calculation:

Renewable energy purchased through green tariffs (KwH) /Total energy purchased (KwH) * 100

"Renewable energy purchased" can refer to any type of energy purchased through a green tariff. This is then divided by all energy purchased for the whole estate, including that which is not purchased under a green tariff. The unit for this calculation is Kilowatts per hour.'

We ask universities to be vigilant and check data entries to HESA for this field.

How does People & Planet calculate its scoring bands?

In sections taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Estates Management Record (HESA EMR), People & Planet places universities that report the EMR into discrete scoring bands. The boundaries of these scoring bands are set by People & Planet. We take into account continuity with last year’s boundaries, distribution of universities across the bands, and where the data permits, we try to define a boundary where there is a relatively large gap between values.

The purpose of the University League is to drive continual improvement in sustainability practices. Therefore boundaries would only be adjusted towards lower standards in exceptional situations; generally to score well each year requires continual improvement, and to score better requires advancing sustainability faster than other universities.

The scoring bands for the previous edition of the People & Planet University League will be published with the announcement of the new set of methodology each April. In sector feedback universities have stated that knowing the previous year’s scoring band boundaries would be useful, however it should be noted these are likely to change and should only be seen as a rough guide.

Scoring Bands for Energy Sources Question 1 on % Renewable Energy Generated Off or On Site in the 2023/24 People & Planet University League

% Renewable Energy Generated On or Off Site


> 10%


> 1%


> 0%




Scoring Bands for Energy Sources Question 2 on % Energy Purchased through Green Tariffs in the 2023/24 People & Planet University League

% Energy Purchased through Green Tariffs


> 95%


> 40%


> 0%




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