- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Each digital ad consumes energy for five homes
Brussels' environment minister has condemned the "huge waste" of energy caused by the city's digital billboard ads - which each consume the equivalent of five households.
Alain Maron, from the green party Ecolo, has obtained figures from the Brussels electricity provider Sibelga, revealing how much electricity is consumed by these new ad displays.
Each 2m² panel, which is on 24 hours a day, consumes between 7,500 and 12,200 kWh per year. By comparison, a Brussels household made up of two adults and a child typically uses 2,000 kWh.
The environment minister said he was powerless. "I can do nothing but note that it is a huge waste," Maron told parliament. "These panels look modern, but they belong to a bygone era, given the need today to reduce our energy consumption."
The digital signs have been springing up along roadsides in Brussels in recent years - and are particularly prevalent in the City of Brussels itself.
"These contracts were signed during the previous legislature," Maron added. "These contracts are problematic."
Advertising firm JC Decaux was granted permission to upgrade some of its billboards to digital displays in return for upgrading the Villo bicycle hire fleet to include electric-powered bikes.