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Museums often need significant amounts of energy for operations. Most buildings can make improvements that can increase their energy efficiency. Improving energy efficiency has many benefits. These include, reducing carbon emissions, cutting down on fuel consumption and bills, creating a more comfortable thermal environment, and improving indoor air quality.

Increased energy performance is always balanced against the cost. As well as the impact on the building if it is listed or historical. Focusing on what the building and organisation can adjust is more helpful that aiming for a monetary figure in savings.

Things to consider

  • Is the project needed? Can you improve the energy performance by reducing consumption, cost and/or carbon emissions?
  • Work within the natural properties of the building. Be sympathetic to the character and construction of it. Consider the age and type of your building. Historic, traditional, and modern buildings all have different characteristics with different building materials.
  • Explore using new materials that are as sustainable as possible.
  • Think about any waste produced. Can you minimise it and what happens to any waste materials. Can you recycle materials, sell them second hand, or ensure that they are disposed of responsibly?
  • Try to ensure your project has a longer lifespan or expected duration. They are more sustainable than something which needs to be replaced often.
  • Can you upgrade or improve existing structures to be more sustainable rather than replace with something new?
  • How will the project impact staff, volunteer, and visitor behaviour? How can you communicate the changes to them?
  • Is the project part of wider a sustainability strategy or policy? Will the changes affect the building’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Talking to energy providers is a good place to start. External experts can support you to conduct energy audits for your building. They help outline your energy consumption, find where energy is, and what changes you can make to improve the issue. Any work can, and in some cases should only, be conducted in consultation with experts such as engineers,