Museums and the Energy Crisis: NEMO statement and Request for Information

16 Sep 2022

NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organisations, has today (16 September) issued a statement on the Impact of the Energy Crisis on Museums in Europe. 

Expressing concern over potential possible closures, reduction of services and access to museums due to the financial burden placed on museums as consequence of the rising energy costs across Europe, which sees some museums face a cost increase of up to 400% in energy bills this winter, NEMO is calling on policy makers at all levels across Europe to provide adequate support measures and increase operational budgets for museums accordingly. 

The statement issued by NEMO highlights the challenges already faced by museums as they continue to recover from an unprecedented loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the investment backlog in the public cultural sector across many countries, and energy-inefficient buildings, as factors which limits investments in their infrastructure, sustainability and energy efficiency. It calls on stakeholders to provide additional funds for 2022 for further payments and budget adjustments for museums and cultural institutions; increase budgets for operational fixed costs according to need for the years 2023 and following; and provide additional funds for investments in the infrastructure of museums, so that buildings can be maintained in a more energy-efficient, ecological, and sustainable manner as soon as possible. 

Citing the extremely important role played by cultural spaces and offerings in supporting social cohesion and personal well-being during times of crisis, as evidenced during the pandemic, NEMO notes that a potential reduction in services or access to museums would represent a minimal impact in terms of energy savings while having a significant impact on the cultural and social fabric of Europe. 

Supporting this statement, NEMO are gathering information on the exceptional increase of costs for electricity and gas during the last months and how it affects museums. They have requested assistance from members/country representatives in gathering data from their networks. To assist the IMA in collating this, we are asking museum representatives to answer four short questions on this link (google form) in relation to access to public support(s), forecasted energy cost increase, and impact on services, to be submitted by 11am, Monday 3 October.

A summary of the answers will be added to the mapping, which will serve as basis for a discussion amongst NEMO members about the energy crisis at the Annual General Meeting the following week. 

Click here to read the statement in full on the NEMO website.