How Cologne’s cultural objects respond to the energy crisis


70,000 euros in additional costs for electricity and gas – Klaus Schweizer fears that Comedia could face such an amount next year. “Heat costs the most: we get our district heating from RheinEnergie, which is currently still gas-fired. And the monthly payments are doubled.”

All of Cologne’s cultural institutions feel the same way as Comedija, both large and small.

Theater in the tower

What the Theater im Bauturm had to experience as a disadvantage may become a small advantage during the energy crisis: tight, the space is not too large compared to other halls – the expected problem of heating costs should improve. CEO Bernd Schlenkrich, a way can be found.

Starting in October, RheinEnergie will increase costs. “I think it’s going to go up by half,” says Schlenkrich. The construction tower has about 12,000 euros in additional costs per year, and now everything is under inspection. “We’re going to try to increase budget planning revenue,” says Schlenkrich. It does not include higher entry fees. However, since there is a constant desire for commercial rentals, the idea is to rent premises for workshops or other things during the summer holidays. That would put some money in the coffers.

In addition, the theater is currently undergoing an energy-saving audit. The German Theater Association together with the German Theater Technical Society (DTHG) has developed a checklist for energy conservation in general and a gas emergency plan, and also offers training courses. “We’re currently investigating larger energy guzzlers,” says Schlenkrich. Stage lighting is a piece. However, people are also thinking about replacing the light bulbs in all the houses with LED lamps and installing motion sensors – as is done in practically all other event venues.

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“We don’t want to be driven crazy,” explains Schlenkrich. Claudia Roth’s call that cultural objects should be connected to the grid due to the energy crisis does not necessarily continue the construction of the tower. “Because we’ve relied on co-production for a long time to save costs.

dance factor

Slava Gepner, CEO of Tanzfaktur, draws on the experience of the crisis. “Winter will be hard. We still have no idea where we are going,” he says. The house has a variety of stage rooms, including some that are not so expensive to heat. Whether they are included differently now is under consideration.

The former workshop of more than 2,000 square meters is very popular with all the ensembles that use it, such as the Theater der Keller. However, it is also very expensive because it is poorly insulated. “There’s an external oil heater, and we knew before the war that we couldn’t really afford that,” Gepner says.

Additional costs for electricity and heating fuel amount to 30,000 euros per year. It is not yet clear how much more utilities will have to pay in the future. “We will find out everything. I hope we can do it again,” says Gepner. Radiant heaters are being considered, but electricity is also expensive. However, in the long term, no one can avoid the transformation of the hall.

Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz

“We are currently negotiating a new contract with RheinEnergie, the current one expires in October,” says CEO Axel Molinskis. “Our experts are currently examining our proposal. the house set the time.” And for the future, people are thinking about installing a solar system on the roof of the theater.

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According to Molinski, ticket sales are actually going “surprisingly well” at the moment. “But the problem is that it’s another drag on ticket sales because it suggests that it’s best to save there, which isn’t absolutely necessary.”

Since the Volksbühne is often rented out for individual events, it is impossible to save on discounts. “However, we have now launched a campaign in which we asked each individual contract partner if they could agree to a 100-euro energy cost subsidy per evening. And everyone did. There…

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