Case Study: Quick Energy Saving Tips

2nd February 2017

If you are responsible for managing a venue, it is likely that energy consumption will be one of your most significant environmental impacts. Here are some quick tips from Scottish venues on measures they have taken to increase the energy efficiency of their operations and cut their bills.

Fridge Timers: The Kings, Edinburgh and Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The Ambassadors Theatre Group which includes the Kings and Theatre Royal in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Playhouse has saved around £100 per year by making a very simple change and using timers in the different buildings’ fridge sockets.

If you have fridges which hold non-perishable alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine you can turn them off and on again in time to cool before the audience want to drink them to save energy, for example, an hour before the bar opens. Fridges aren’t usually opened once the bar closes so little ‘coolth’ is lost anyway if they are reasonably well insulated. In the warmer months, fridges create unnecessary heat in the room, leading to additional air con or fan energy use so reducing the number of hours your fridges are on will save you energy in other ways.

You can buy simple 24 hour timers or more sophisticated weekly ones which will turn off on Saturday night and on again on Monday, staying off on Sunday (try B&Q for example). Or for a no-cost improvement, simply turn off as the bar closes and on again at the beginning of the next shift.

Efficent Boilers: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe made substantial savings on their energy bills, thanks to the installation in 2012 of a new energy efficient heating system and boiler. By changing to new energy efficient boilers in both their offices and installing a new central heating system in the Old Fishmarket Office, the Fringe Society  saved £4470 in 2012-2013 alone.

Hand dryer savings: The Hub, Edinburgh

Working together, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Hub installed hand dryers in all of the venue’s toilets, leading to a reduction in the use of paper towels and annual savings of £2000. The cost of the hand dryers was less than half of the cost of the paper towels they replaced (within a twelve month period) i.e. they paid for themselves in 6 months. The driers use room temperature air so with no heating element the electricity cost is negligible.

Building Management Systems: Usher Hall, Edinburgh

The Usher Hall made savings of over £8000 between 2011-2012 by focusing on the controls of their Building Management System (BMS). In particular they worked with their controls company to update their existing BMS software which allowed savings in targeted areas, in addition to improving the efficiency of equipment around the building. These savings are double the maintenance costs and have continued to make savings in the years following.

Interested in learning more about your Building Management System?

Tom Machinchick’s comprehensive guide to building energy management systems contains valuable information on how to get the most out of your BMS system including guidance on:

  • Choosing the right system for your organisation,
  • How get the most value out of your energy management system,
  • The benefit of organisation-led initiatives to reduce energy consumption.

Click here to download An Introduction to Building Energy Management Systems (7.52MB).

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A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network