Key questions

  • Where can you make changes directly to reduce energy impacts and where do you need to work with others to make changes? This will depend on where you operate from (e.g. your own venue or building, a rented or shared office or building, home) and where your activities or events take place (e.g. other venues or outdoor spaces).
  • For the spaces you own, control or manage: How much energy do you use? What type of energy do you use (e.g. grid gas and electricity, district heating, solar panels, generators) and how much fossil fuel is in the mix? What can you do to reduce your energy use? What can you do to shift to low or zero carbon energy sources?
  • For spaces owned, controlled or managed by others: What can you do to build understanding of your energy use? What steps can you take directly to reduce energy use? What can you do to push for change with others - e.g. landlords, local authorities, host venues, suppliers - on reducing energy use and shifting to low or zero carbon energy sources?
  • What can you do on good energy practice for home working?

Hierarchy of Good Energy Management

Avoid, reduce, replace. Focus first on reducing energy use. Then look at options for moving from fossil fuel energy sources to low or zero carbon energy sources.

Top Tips

Find out how much energy you use (when, where and for what), for example:

  • Do an energy audit. Some schemes such as Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Energy Efficiency Scheme provide energy assessments as part of their funding.
  • Install smart meters, or use software to get more detailed energy use data.
  • Ask your landlord or host venues what information they can provide.
  • Ask generator suppliers to monitor power use and efficiency during events

Set up regular energy use monitoring.

Save energy, for example:

  • Introduce a switch-off procedure for lighting, equipment, etc.
  • Adjust controls and settings for heating, cooling, lighting, etc. according to use, occupancy and opening hours.
  • Insulate e.g. make sure boilers, storage tanks, roofs and floors are well-insulated, draught-proof windows and doors, install triple glazing.
  • Install energy-efficient lighting e.g. LEDs and systems e.g. timers, sensors.
  • Purchase energy-efficient equipment when replacing old equipment.
  • Do pre-production planning for power demand to ensure generators are sized correctly.
  • Make more use of natural daylight and ventilation.
  • Install solar shading to reduce heat gain during the summer.

Replace fossil fuel energy sources with low or zero carbon energy sources, for example:

  • Procure energy on a green tariff or from a 100% green energy supplier.
  • Install on-site renewable energy e.g. heat pumps, solar panels.
  • Look into options for connecting to district or community energy schemes.
  • Plug into mains electricity, instead of using generators for outdoor events.
  • Hire portable low or zero carbon energy sources e.g. pedal-powered screens, generators which run on waste vegetable oil, solar-charged battery storage.

Choose and work with landlords, venues etc. committed to good energy practice and open to collaboration.

Provide employees with information about energy efficiency when working from home and options and schemes on home energy efficiency and renewable energy.



Woman singing loudly with a "Energy" T Shirt on
Julie's Bicycle - Buildings Net Zero Energy resources
Presentation and accompanying resources, developed under Arts Council England’s Buildings Net Zero Energy programme, including a self-audit checklist, and worksheets on solar power.
Image of a tree growing through outdoor winding staircase
Julie's Bicycle - Energy Impacts: Taking meaningful action in the midst of a crisis
This report, developed under Arts Council England's Environmental Programme, explains the energy industry’s role in fuelling the climate crisis, how it needs to change, and how creative and cultural organisations can respond.
Indoor nightlife image looking at streets with blurry fast moving traffic, building says Theatre
Julie's Bicycle - Spotlight: Transitioning to Net Zero
Developed under Arts Council England's Spotlight Programme, this guide provides an overview of Net Zero Energy and what it means, why we need to achieve this, and how, with examples from creative and cultural organisations that are leading the way in their energy reduction journeys.
Julie's Bicycle - Energy Impacts Webinar
Video / Webinar
This webinar with Good Energy and Brighton Energy Co-op looks at renewable energy tariffs and how we achieve a renewable grid, and at the role creative and cultural organisations can play to support a just and clean energy transition at a community level.
Creative Carbon Scotland logo
Creative Carbon Scotland - Guide to energy use
This guide aims to help organisations to understand how much energy they are using and the actions they can take to reduce energy use.
Green texture
Arts Green Book (Sustainable Buildings)
The Arts Green Book: Sustainable Buildings looks at how to make cultural buildings more sustainable. It’s designed for executive directors and facilities managers, for boards, funders, local authorities and designers – for anyone who faces the challenge of taking a cultural building and making it fit for purpose in the context of the climate emergency.
Small inflatable globe laying on green grass
Energise - Sourcing Sustainable Energy
Video / Webinar
Recording of the presentation by Energise at the UK Cinema Association 2023 conference Greening the Big Screen Experience.
Julie's Bicycle and Good Energy - How to buy sustainably sourced power
This short handbook and infographic developed by Julie’s Bicycle with Good Energy gives guidance on how to buy green power for your organisation.
Image of a large festival, crowd overlooking a big stage with fireworks, night time
Powerful Thinking - Guide to Smart Energy for Festivals and Events
Published in 2017, the guide provides event professionals with knowledge and practical resources to help manage temporary energy smartly, reducing environmental impacts and fuel bills. It is created from a collection of modular resources, factsheets and case studies that are also available online.
Image of a crowd and concert, with a band performing on stage
Powerful Thinking - Fact Sheet: What to ask your energy supplier
This factsheet aims to help festival organisers to either choose a new power supplier, or to ask the right questions of an existing supplier when considering energy efficiency.
Julie's Bicycle - Can We Make Touring Greener?
Reflections and recommendations on greener touring and green riders – how to approach and what to ask of host venues.
Image of a small plant growing outdoors
Independent Cinema Office - Green Cinema Toolkit
ICO’s Green Cinema Toolkit is for anyone working in film exhibition, from small independent exhibitors to larger cinemas and multi-arts venues. It provides case studies and top tips for green cinemas, and links to further tools, guidance and resources.



Energy measures at BFI
People outdoors mainly sitting on a field, night time, watching an outdoor screening
Electric Pedals
Person in an old school red cinema costume, chatting to someone else. They are in front of a sign that says Sol Cinema
Sol Cinema
Image of people indoors outside a sign that says Cinema
Inventa Low Carbon Modular Cinema
Image of Lewes Depot cinema outdoors, dusk time
Depot Lewes building - Greener by Design
Indoors overlooking a canteen with HOME logo from the ceiling
HOME Manchester building
Natural Ventilation at Contact Theatre Manchester
Metal Culture's journey to selecting more sustainable suppliers
Green Phoenix logo
Exeter Phoenix - Green Phoenix
Image Credits
Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // Hero image: Lorem Ipsum // ENERGY