Antwerp cultural venues to turn down the heat in an effort to survive the energy crisis

The spiraling cost of energy means that cultural venues in Antwerp are having to take measures to reduce their energy consumption this winter. The city’s largest venue the Sportpaleis had decided to turn down its heating by a couple of degrees and is considering increasing ticket prices in an effort to make it through the energy crisis. News that the cultural sector is being forced to make efforts to reduce its energy use first appeared in the daily Gazet van Antwerpen and have since been confirmed by VRT News sources. 

Sportpaleis’ CEO Jan Van Esbroeck told journalists that “As things are looking now, current energy prices will mean that over the group as a whole we would have to budget 2 million euro extra if our energy consumption were to remain the same”.

In an effort to bring prices down, as the Sportpaleis Group is now known, intends to turn down the heating by a few degrees. The Lotto Arena, Sportpaleis and Antwerp’s Stadsschouwburg will set their thermostats at 19°C instead of 21°C during the coming winter months. 

Mr Van Esbroeck says that turning down the heating shouldn’t pose too many issues “The temperature is not such a big problem, because if you have between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the same place, heat is created automatically. Also there is no one that wears a summer shirt to a concert held in the winter. You are dress for the conditions outside”.  

Ventilation norms

Another issue is the list of rules on ventilation that have come about in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. If the weather conditions outside are particularly cold the air that is brought in from outside to ventilate a venue needs to be heated”.

Simply turning down the heat by a couple of degrees though won’t be enough to cover all the increased costs caused by the energy crisis. Mr Van Esbroeck says that event organisers may be forced to increase ticket prices in order to make up for at least some of this. 

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