Looming Energy Shortages Forcing Digital Signage, DOOH Screens Off Overnight In Europe

August 23, 2022 by Dave Haynes

My very smart content partners at the German consulting and publishing firm Invidis have been writing in recent years about the importance of what they call green signage, and how energy usage is an increasingly big consideration in how digital signage and Digital OOH technology is sourced and used in Europe.

The company’s German language blog (but auto-translated by my browser!) has a post up about just how important energy usage is right now, and particularly will be this fall and winter as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has impacted energy availability around Western Europe.

Starting tomorrow, Invidis reports, the government “intends to adopt a series of measures and bans for Germany that are intended to prevent an energy shortage from September. Out-of-home and retail are particularly affected. All advertising must be switched off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.”

So that means a whole bunch of screens will blink off come 10 pm, including Digital OOH street furniture displays and digital billboards. Spain already put similar measures in place earlier this month.

“Europe has to save energy, and from September the saving measures will also be visible in the German cityscape. The EU’s gas emergency plan came into force in August, under which the member countries have to save 15 percent on gas. Germany has a self-imposed target of 20 percent savings.”

“Outdoor advertising systems such as analogue and digital out-of-home advertising spaces, but also digital signage (displays and LEDs) in shop windows and neon letters on facades must remain switched off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.”

“The restriction is manageable for the out-of-home industry, since most advertising spaces have always been switched off by midnight.”

“For retailers, it is prohibited to keep shop doors and entrance systems open permanently in retail business premises.”

In this case, the restrictions owe to expected shortages in energy supply, but green signage also owes to cost. Rising energy prices – particularly when you get into outdoor-rated displays that need to somehow win visibility and cooling battles with midday sunlight – mean solutions providers and their customers need to think through what they do, what they use and where displays are placed. I don’t get a sense energy consumption and costs are big parts of the discussion for AV projects in North America, but that will change.

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