"We are in an excellent starting position"

The energy crisis has made restrictions necessary across Europe. TSG Hoffenheim also have to deal with the topic of energy savings. Joachim Bohn, Head of Facility Management at TSG, spoke in an interview about the impact of the current situation, possible solutions and the requirements at TSG Hoffenheim's PreZero Arena.

Mr Bohn, the energy crisis is a major issue across Europe. What is the situation at TSG Hoffenheim?

"Our big advantage is that we don't use gas for heating in the PreZero Arena. This means that we are not so heavily dependent on it, and we do not have to fear any major restrictions, should the supply be cut off completely. Instead, we use wood pellets, among other things. We cover the heating requirements for the pitch, rooms and hot water using environmentally friendly heat, mainly from a renewable raw material – namely, wood. Nevertheless, we are of course aware of how serious the situation is – especially in view of developments on the electricity market. Some time ago, we invested in high-performance photovoltaic systems at our Sinsheim and Zuzenhausen sites, which we use to generate a large part of our electricity requirements. Nevertheless, we still have to source some electricity externally, especially for the hours after sunset. So here it is simply a case of reducing consumption." 

What can TSG do to reduce energy consumption?

"We have already identified various approaches, which we can still improve a little, but we are still in the process of evaluating them. For example, we want to make savings in the area of interior lighting and use an automatic switch-off function. We also want to be even more efficient when it comes to car park lighting. In addition, there are various electricity consumers in the Arena, which we can turn off between match days. We also raise awareness among our employees and make it clear that every little thing they can do helps. Everyone can play their part."

The pitch needs undersoil heating in winter. What can be done to use as little energy as possible?

"We are already talking with the groundskeepers about this. Of course, it saves energy and costs if the undersoil heating is used less frequently. On the other hand, however, it is also important to maintain playable surfaces at the training ground and inside the stadium that meet our Bundesliga requirements. So we have to find a sensible solution here."

TSG have a large photovoltaic system as well as a rainwater cistern at the PreZero Arena. How much does this help?

"In the current climate, you are of course happy to have anything that saves resources and costs. At TSG Hoffenheim, however, we are in an excellent starting position, which is a big plus for us. The facilities we have are a great help and not just par for the course. Not every club has such a great system to fall back on."

The Arena was built in 2008. Does that show how forward-thinking TSG were at the time?

"Although no one expected an energy crisis just 15 years ago, it shows that some people took responsibility and did think ahead. They didn't just build a basic stadium that did its job – they built one that is also sustainable and could be an ace up our sleeve for years to come. Of course, that long-term thinking is now paying off and is helping us enormously."

What about the training centre and the club's other facilities?

"We do use gas at the training centre in Zuzenhausen. In the next few months, we will look to see whether some of the training sessions on the pitch can be moved to the hours around midday in case of extremely cold weather. This would allow us to control the power consumption a little better and would not require the undersoil heating to run permanently on full power. In fact, it would be a big help for us all if, in these tense times, the winter weather were not too harsh. Unfortunately, that is the only thing we cannot influence."

Download Now!
Print Page to top