We thought we’d pull together another set of quick top tips and stories from across Europe - just in time for the new year and your New Year's resolutions.... The best time to change something is when you’re already changing something else: the hardest thing is getting people to be willing to challenge established norms in the first place. As our EE MUSIC Ambassador FIFTI says: Social sustainability (e.g. diversity and gender equality) are values that often go hand in hand with environmental sustainability as they all at first require a change of minds, and then practical efforts and the development of new ways of thinking and acting. For us, it’s not possible to believe and think about something in your private life and then not apply it at all to your work. We also like the challenges created by trying not to think in our usual ways: we often end up with brand new ideas and interesting problem solving.”

Clubs/Venues: 

  • Understanding your energy use baseline is the most important starting point to action: without it, you won’t be able to measure whether your efforts are leading to improvement, and you won’t be able to celebrate your achievements. You can also go a step further: Huset-KBH in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been using its annual energy use from 2012 as an energy budget – regardless of how many performances or events they host, they cannot use more energy in a year than they did in 2012 (and so far, it’s working!). You can use the EE MUSIC IG Tools to quickly track and compare your energy use from year to year.
  • When is the last time that you vacuum cleaned your speakers/PA system to unclog them of dust? And when was the last time you cleaned the filters of your ventilation system? What about the condenser coils of your bar fridges? Simple, regular maintenance can go a long way to reducing the energy use of the equipment in your venue. For more energy saving ideas, check out the EE MUSIC Handbook for Clubs and Venues.
  • A workshop participant in the UK mentioned the InnServe ‘InnEnergy’ device. This is an intelligent power socket for beer and soft drinks coolers and icemakers that optimizes their performance, saving significant amounts of energy in the process. Similar products may well be available across the European market. Alternatively, just make sure you turn your bottle fridges off overnight – especially on days when you don’t have any shows or events. Also make sure your staff are properly closing fridge doors at the end of their shift! We’ve found at least two proven cases where fridge sliding doors were just being left open through human error….

Festivals: 

  • The scale of the problem of oversized generators (and the scope for fuel savings!) is becoming ever more understood. The Power Behind Festivals guide, published by Powerful Thinking in 2012, presented research by DeMontford University which found that 60% of generators which they monitored at UK music festivals were double the size required to meet demand, and over half were being run entirely below 25% capacity. Watt-Now, a Dutch start-up specialising in off-grid energy monitoring and management for festivals presented new data from their recent research study at the ADE Green Conference 2015. The study, which included 270,000 data points, found that 77% of generators had an average load of less than 20% and 69% were twice the capacity of peak demand. Rob Scully, Sustainability Projects Coordinator at Glastonbury, also presented summary findings from a large-scale monitoring project carried out in partnership with the University of West England (UWE). They found that of the 126 generators monitored, most were oversized. To find out how you can work with your power supplier(s) to better specify your energy needs and make sure you have an appropriate number of generators and that they are correctly sized, check out our EE MUSIC Handbook for Festivals and Outdoor Events
  • Have you looked at switching to LED festoon and other site lighting? This type of lighting will be on for long periods on your site so you can make significant energy savings by replacing it with more energy efficient alternatives. 


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