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CERN energy management: a collective effort

Find out how we can all help to improve CERN’s energy performance


CERN Science Gateway has almost 4000 square metres of solar panels that provide energy not only for this new visitor centre but also for other CERN buildings. (Image: CERN)

CERN is committed to environmentally responsible research, and continual improvement of energy management is one of the key pillars of its strategy to minimise its impact on the environment. The global energy crisis of 2022 increased everyone’s awareness of the importance of effective energy management. It prompted the Organization, as a mark of its social responsibility, to take further measures to minimise its energy consumption. Now, we all have a role to play.

Watch this video of CERN’s approach to energy management and what we can do. (Video: CERN)

CERN has developed an Energy Policy that aligns with the ISO 50001 international standard used to continually monitor and improve energy management. The associated certification was awarded to the Organization on 2 February 2023, and yearly audits will be undertaken to check that CERN’s energy performance is improving. CERN’s commitments include keeping energy requirements to a minimum, improving energy efficiency and recovering waste energy. Measures taken in 2023 have included delaying the switch-on of heating, advancing the start of the annual year-end technical stop (YETS) and using the “eco-mode” for the LHC cryogenic installations whenever possible. In parallel, progress has been made on the approved heat recovery projects, aiming at reusing the waste heat of some of the LHC’s cooling towers and the new Data Centre in Prévessin, which has energy efficiency at its core. Finally, CERN is liaising with renewable electricity providers to try to secure part of its consumption volume (10% during run periods, 25% during long shutdowns) through private long-term contracts.

Practical tips for us all

  • Every little helps: switch off lights and equipment when not in use, dress warmly instead of turning up the heating and, while ensuring regular ventilation for clean air, keep windows closed when possible.
  • Find out more about CERN’s energy consumption via our Web Energy tool, which includes data from different sites, accelerators and experiments for 2023 and also for previous years.
  • You will have seen awareness-raising posters across the CERN sites. The full set of posters is available here for you to help to spread the word.
  • Familiarise yourself with CERN’s power cut response and what you should do in the event of a blackout.
  • Share your feedback on energy saving via Mattermost or by emailing environment.info@cern.ch

For more information on energy management at CERN, visit https://environment.cern/content/energy-management.