# 16 – Energy Action Plan

About this Factsheet


This factsheet will help you to create a document that defines your sustainability goals and show how you aim to achieve them over time. You can share it with stakeholders to let them know your intentions and requirements and use it as a tool for evaluating and redefining your goals in the future. It was produced with the help of Liz Warwick, Energy Consultant at Lansdowne Warwick.

In the context of everything that it takes to plan and manage a successful outdoor event, managing power e ciently, relatively speaking, should not pose a signi cant challenge. It may just require a few changes to how you do things.

1. Make Plan: 

  • Assign someone to manage the process see Factsheet #7 – Roles at a Glance.
  • What targets do you want to achieve? E.g.
    —Fuel savings?
    —Reduction in energy demand?
    —Reduction in carbon emissions?
    —New contracts/terms with power supplier?
    —Increased measurement of load and fuel use for generators?
    —Engaging a specialist consultant to review energy management and identify savings?
    —Improve green credentials?
  • Review the last 3 years’ energy consumption including diesel, electricity, battery, biofuel and LPG if these figures are available – if not make it a priority to measure this year.
  • Consider any obstacles to achieving targets.
  • Identify all stakeholders (anyone involved in using power or who is responsible for power) and their potential influence on consumption levels.
  • Agree actions and timescales.
  • Write it all down in one brief document and call it the ‘Energy Action Plan’.

2. Liaise with power supplier 

—Agree fuel use (or reduction) targets.
—Set clear responsibilities for how generators and other power will be monitored, how energy is recorded and by whom.
—Request a detailed post-event report on energy management.
—Agree responsibility for contacting all end-users of power for their accurate requirements and a timeline to achieve this. This includes all concessions, artists’ management (for tour buses), outside broadcasting, production and contractors. NB it is really important the timeline is stuck to so that the supplier has time to design an efficient system.

  • Prepare an inventory of all equipment detailing location, function, use, estimated hours of use and power requirements.
  • Ask an expert (e.g. an energy consultant) to review all equipment and map into geographical areas to assess optimum layout and usage for generators and other power supplies.
  • Consider options for more energy efficient equipment or technology e.g. LED festoon lighting, photocell distros and generator load monitoring.
  • Consider options for renewable energy e.g. sustainably sourced biofuel, solar, pedal power. For a full brief on this topic see Factsheet #17 – What to Ask Your Energy Supplier.

3. Communicate 

By sharing your intentions with everyone in the organisation and all stakeholders it is far more likely that changes will happen. We recommend that once you have a plan in place you send it, or a summary, along with any other useful information (see below) to everyone concerned. Please refer to and use to following resources to help you communicate with stakeholders:

4. Measure and Monitor Onsite 

You need good data from the previous year (several years if available). If not, capturing information from the upcoming show(s) is an opportunity to establish a baseline to work from in future. Either ask your contractor to do this, or you can achieve this in-house.

5. Review and Set New Targets 

You need information in a useful format to feed into decision making for the next event. The most sensible option is to stipulate monitoring and a detailed report as part of the energy contract. Either your power company or a dedicated consultant will need to review this and include in their debrief/report. See Factsheet #6 – Five Tips for Smart Energy Contracts

From the power report (if it does not already make these suggestions explicitly) you should be able to:

  • Identify where changes can be made to reduce generator sizes.
  • Tackle significant energy spikes by identifying their sources.
  • Build a better picture of realistic energy needs.
  • Identify opportunities to make changes to the system design for efficiency.
  • Celebrate your achievements!
  • Use debrief to prepare new targets for the following year.

6. Share your Experience

If you have successes or learning points share them with the growing community of events making changes to become more sustainable by offering a case study of your experience for the Powerful Thinking website. Powerful Thinking is a not-for-pro t industry collaboration – everything we do is in the spirit of cooperation to help our industry make positive changes to meet the challenges of the future.

Consider joining the Festival Vision: 2025 initiative, by signing a pledge to cut your emissions by 50% by 2025. Think this isn’t possible? Reducing your energy impacts is a significant step, but read The Show Must Go On report to find out how it can be done, and take the pledge. Over 50 UK music festivals are now involved, with 90% of these stating that; “they have been inspired or encouraged to take action,” as a result of being part of the initiative. Why? It’s easier to take action together, with support, and with the chance to share experiences.

Download Factsheet #16 Energy Action Plan