The Theatre Royal Plymouth has come up with a new way to show staff and visiting companies how much energy they’re using.
The Energy Display Centre has been installed at Stage Door and shows the cost of the gas, water and electricity the theatre has used in the past hour, over the course of the day and over the past seven days, as well as the temperature outside and in different parts of the building.
The measurements are being taken with engineering equipment already in place in the theatre which does things like control the heating system. This means the Energy Display Centre only cost around £500 – other similar systems cost £3,000-£4,000 to set up.
The Energy Display Centre originally showed just the amount of gas, electricity and water used in the theatre. However, staff and visiting companies have become so interested in the figures that the display now also includes costs, graphs, temperature displays and various alarm systems to let Stage Door staff know if a piece of equipment has stopped working.
Since the Energy Display Centre has been installed, it has revealed some surprising facts – for example, if there are two shows in a day, the amount of gas and electricity used is only a little bit higher than on a day with just one show, despite all the lighting and sound equipment used. However, the amount of water used jumps up as there are more people using the toilets before the show, during the interval and afterwards.
It’s hoped the display will make people more aware of the energy the theatre uses each day, and so encourage them to reduce their own usage.
Premises Manager Kevin Faulkner said, “We’ve had this engineering equipment installed for over 15 years, but as far as we’re aware, we’re the first venue to use it in this innovative way and create an Energy Display Centre with it. We’re always looking for ways to save energy in a cost effective way, and the display will help people make their own decisions about the energy they use.”
Adjustments can be made to the Energy Display Centre at any time, and in the future it could show things like the temperature on stage to help dance companies make sure the stage is warm enough for their dancers, and a less detailed version for members of the public to see the theatre’s energy use.