Case study

Screening for Energy Efficiency with The Tyneside Cinema

Tyneside Energy Efficiency ProjectTyneside Energy Efficiency Project

As part of a continued partnership with Newcastle & Gateshead Cultural Venues, NDE have been supporting The Tyneside Cinema with energy efficiency surveying, monitoring and modelling.

Following a kick off meeting with Phil Scales (Technical Manager at The Tyneside Cinema), some priority areas of the building were identified based on their exceptionally high energy consumption. Initially, the café and bar area was outlined to be the focus of the support; later, in a second review, the kitchen supplying the café was surveyed.

Outline & objectives

NDE carried out a surveying visit where a comprehensive review of all electrical equipment in the café and bar area was completed. In addition records made on appliance and system ratings, metering and monitoring was initiated for some systems in the café that were either without obvious/accessible rating information or of particular interest to the surveyor.

Access to the site Building Management System (BMS) was also available, as was the main metering board for the building. During this initial survey, NDE were also able to discuss with floor staff the standard practices of staff and processes that take place on a day-to-day basis; this information was invaluable and helped the surveyor to build up a picture of what was really accountable for the extremely high loads in the building.

Phase 1: Review building plans & existing data collected during the kick off meeting; gather manufacturer data for bespoke appliances
Phase 2: Site Visit for monitoring and testing to take place; initial survey to gauge potential for efficiency improvements
Phase 3: Construction of energy modelling & financial modelling based on site usage
Phase 4: Summary report (Final energy model; financial model; energy efficiency improvement measures)



Realistic support was a critical priority from the outset; NDE did not wish to make the generic ‘switch it off/use it less’ suggestions and realised the client had an operation to maintain without compromise to staff, operations and customer comfort.

In the kitchen area, small procedure changes and minor adjustments to settings on a number of heated electrically powered appliances were outlined as able to deliver around £1,750 savings annually. Retrofitted insulation improvements, air handling adjustments and some other recommendations were also specified delivering a further £3,250.

Conservative changes to air conditioning, positioning of zone sensors and BMS changes were of significant note in the energy & financial modelling for the bar area. Consumption from the bar itself-particularly in relation to fridge operation and appliances in the hot drinks prep area-was surprisingly high; suspicions about a hot drinks appliance were confirmed when monitoring and testing throughout various operation modes was carried out with a high pressure steam lance being a major culprit.

Lighting was also reviewed across the main bar area and formed an interesting challenge; part of the appeal of The Tyneside Cinema is its light, warm atmosphere visible through the main glass front windows-simply reducing lighting or changing purely to standard LED was not an option. However, the phased in use of specific LEDs (with a warmer hue than standard) alongside the existing incandescent bulbs had the potential to save >£750/annum because of the scale and operation of lighting on site.

Some more inventive solutions also arose during the surveying, one example being the projector screen in the bar area which is used for daytime news and occasional evening screening sessions. Although the projector clearly could not be removed, a low energy wall mounted TV for news broadcasts could be mounted behind the screen. On face value, this appears a costly solution however, savings of <£150/annum were possible on energy alone; when the reduced frequency of replacing approved replacement projector bulbs (around £150 each) is considered, the rationale for this investment is clear.

Further information

If you think your company could benefit with support from Narec Distributed Energy, please get in touch with our Energy Efficiency team via or 01670 543 009.