ALL FESTIVAL caterers can now work out the maximum power they need at an event thanks to a new Energy Calculator feature added to an online management system run by the Nationwide Caterers’ Association (NCASS).
The system, part of NCASS Connect (see FESTIVAL, issue 25), also gives event organisers and environmental health officers (EHOs) the ability to monitor caterers’ fridge temperatures and power usage remotely. According to NCASS’s Mark Laurie, this allows festival market co-ordinators to minimise power use at their event, saving money and increasing sustainability.
“Caterers often overestimate their power needs and pay too much for it, while the festival ends up burning fuel unnecessarily,” Laurie explains.
“Frequently, generators run at just 30 per cent usage at any time. With this system, the caterers list all the equipment they’re taking to an event, which is stored for future events, calculating the power they need. They also state what times they use their cookers [with fridges and freezers on 24/7], allowing the festival to plan power demand. Any caterer, including non-NCASS members can use it.”
Laurie adds that, on the health side, it reduces the scope for human error as festivals can monitor temperatures in real time and EHOs can warn caterers if they observe unsafe levels. He expects about 250 festivals will use NCASS Connect this year, with existing users including WOMAD (cap. 26,000), Shambala (10,000) and Swingamajig (3,000), plus support from the Association of Independent Festivals, and recommendation from the Association of Festival Organisers “likely”.