Casualty now have an 100% low energy lighting solution to help reduce their energy needs. With carbon and financial savings around 70%, the new lighting will have paid for itself in 4 years.

Rechargeable batteries are the only source of power for the sound department on Casualty. Boom operator Balazs Varga chooses them for environmental reasons and recalls his positive experience of making the switch:

“I’m very much in favour of using rechargeable batteries, because of environmental reasons. I worked on a show where I kept a log of the number of 9V batteries used up (we ended up billing production of course). It totalled 478 within 6 weeks! (Radio mics, Comteks and pretty much everything was running off 9Vs there.)

That’s 478 batteries too many to be buried in the ground once they’re depleted. It’s rather sad to think about it. I understand that people are concerned about rechargeable batteries not being reliable and performing worse when they’re nearing the end of their lifetime, but there are ways around that: get a good kit together.

I like working with rechargeables because whenever one is only partially used, it can be refreshed and ready to go very quickly. There is no need to cart around heavy boxes of batteries and as a department we generate less waste.

I admit that the initial switch-over is rather costly, but if a deal can be struck with production then it should balance out in the long run.”

Rough calculations have shown that they are saving at least 50 AA batteries per week. The show is now buying one fifth of the batteries that they used to and spending obviously reflects that. Using conventional batteries they would be spending £500 per year on AA’s and £350 per year on 9Vs. Since using rechargeables they are now spending £150 per year on both. That is a saving of £700 and a lot fewer harmful chemicals in the ground.

Technical Info

Low energy lighting set-up

  • Mainly KinoFlo lighting providing 158,000 kWh per annum reduction in energy consumption

Balaz’s trusted kit

  • a MH-C9000 charger
  • a pulse load battery checker
  • some storage strips by powerpax.net
  • and the batteries of your choice
  • Ansmann Digital AA 2850mAh,
  • Ansmann Digital AAA 1100mAh,
  • iPower US 9V 520mAh.
  • Sanyo’s Eneloop range