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German Christmas markets are in energy-saving mode

In view of the current skyrocketing gas and electricity prices, the energy concepts of Christmas markets are increasingly being discussed. To support the discussion, the German Showmen’s Association (Deutscher Schaustellerbund e.V. ) has developed an energy paper and written to the Federal Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, as well as the Minister Presidents and Ministers of Economics. In the letter, the association makes a fact-based case for preserving the Christmas markets. An interesting study result shows: A Christmas market visitor consumes less electricity than a homebody.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection has already commented on the fact that the pronounced ban on lighting on buildings does not apply to short-term lighting at cultural events such as Christmas markets. The final decision, however, is up to the cities and municipalities themselves.

A phase-out of Christmas markets is not a solution to the energy crisis. Because one thing is certain: Christmas markets make an important cultural contribution to community togetherness. Especially in times of pandemic, war and inflation, they are of great social and economic importance. Therefore, only very few organizers opt for the extreme scenario of cancellation. Instead, cities and municipalities are responding by optimizing their energy concepts. It is about new ways in the planning of folk festivals, so that also this winter Christmas atmosphere arises.

LED & other energy-saving technology at Christmas markets

In the course of saving electricity, many cities switched to energy-saving LED technology for Christmas market lighting years ago. In Dortmund, for example, consumption was reduced from 998,000 kilowatt hours to 655,000 kilowatt hours. In addition, some cities are focusing on the use of energy-saving equipment, such as instantaneous water heaters instead of boilers at mulled wine stands, energy-saving refrigerators or dishwashing technology.

Time restriction and switching off of dispensable light sources

To further put Christmas markets into energy-saving mode, light sources are being dispensed with in many places, so the glow of lights is less opulent than usual. In Stuttgart, for example, the lighting at the town hall and the Advent calendar in the town hall windows are dispensed with. In many Christmas markets, the lighting is additionally regulated in terms of time. Fairy lights and stars in Kiel, for example, no longer shine from 10 p.m. onwards. In Lübeck, a further potential for savings is being exploited: for example, it was decided together with the operators of the stands that the outdoor catering facilities would not be heated. Even the quiet room will not be heated in many cities.

Sustainable energy offers

Another lever to save energy is to rely on renewable energy. Nuremberg is a prime example here. The city relies almost 100% on green power to operate its Christmas market. A particularly creative idea can be found in Baden-Baden: Here, the Christmas tree at the Trinkhalle can be lit up with muscle power via a bicycle generator.

New program & booths for Christmas markets

A further savings potential results from sustainable Volkfest planning: In order to save electricity, organizers choose energy-saving showmen when selecting their booths and attractions, who themselves actively go on the energy-saving offensive and only light up parts of their booths. To support energy-saving planning, planning with Marktmeister Pro also helps. This means that plans can be created at the click of a mouse, showing at a glance the energy requirements of the selected candidates for the Christmas market. Organizers can thus keep an eye on energy conditions and adjust their planning accordingly.

A light in the dark winter: Also this year, most Christmas markets will take place. (Photo source: Denis Jung)

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