Powering UP Euro 2020 – some fun football and energy facts!

Published on June 24, 2021

With Euro 2020 (finally) in full swing and England making it through to the final, we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some great facts about what it takes to power UP a football tournament.

Ever wondered how much it costs to host a football match? Or perhaps how many pints are drunk during a highly anticipated game? Just a little hint, it’s in the millions!

Read on to find out!

How much does it cost to power a match?

The big football stadiums typically consume around 10 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year, and around 25,000 kWh per 90-minute match.

To put that in perspective, the average UK household consumes around 3,731 kWh a year.1

This means that to power a stadium with electricity alone for a 90-minute match would cost approximately £4,3002. And that’s not even including pre-match, half time, or after-party celebrations!

With 51 fixtures to get through in Euro 2020, that’ll soon add up.

Watching football with beer

How many pints do you think we drank during our opening Euro 2020 match?

British people are estimated to have drunk a whopping 10 million pints during England’s first match of Euro 2020, a wonderful 1-0 victory over Croatia.

No doubt the easing of lockdown restrictions contributed to giving football fans, and the hospitality industry, a much-needed boost following a tough year.

As well as consuming millions of pints, it’s predicted by the end of the tournament fans will have munched through 10 million packets of crisps and 5 million pizzas to help fuel their support of their team.3

Football caused one of the UK’s biggest ever power surges

On 4th July 1990, the nation rose from their sofas to sooth frayed nerves with a calming cup of tea, after watching England lose to Germany in a penalty shootout at the World Cup semi-finals.

And what happens when 26 million people all put their kettles on to boil at the same time?

They cause a 2.8 million kilowatt electricity surge – that’s enough energy used in about 5 minutes to power around 750 homes for a whole year! If England make it to the semi-finals (or even the finals) in Euro 2020, we may yet see an even bigger surge.4

And that’s why the National Grid keeps a close eye on TV schedules, so it can make sure the grid can handle the increased demand during the most popular broadcasts.

Trees UEFA pledges to plant for Euro 2020

Euro 2020 will result in 600,000 more trees

With the tournament having no fewer than 11 host countries, which is far more than any other football competition in history, there has been some concern about the impact such ambitious plans will have on the environment.

However, UEFA has promised that Euro 2020 will be “the most environmentally friendly championship to date” and has pledged to fulfil certain promises to help offset the carbon emissions.

Such promises include planting 50,000 trees in each host country (including Dublin, which had to drop out of hosting duties due to coronavirus) and investing in gold standard renewable energy projects to provide lasting value to the planet.

Wembley stadium is ‘greener’ than you might think

Despite being one of the oldest stadiums to host Euro 2020 matches, Wembley stadium has undergone some environmentally friendly changes over recent years to help make it as ‘green’ as possible.

For example, the legendary stadium is in fact powered entirely by 100% renewable electricity, and it recently invested in replacing its old, inefficient lightbulbs with LEDs which will help reduce energy consumption by around 40%.

Football fans cheering with energy

The most-watched game of the competition so far is…

… England vs Scotland!

When the two rival teams went head-to-head at Wembley Stadium on 18th June 2021, the match drew in 20 million viewers at its peak.

That’s a lot of energy used to power the nation’s TV sets!

Luckily, your TV is one of the cheaper appliances to run in your home. On average, it costs around £39 a year to run a 60-inch TV with an A energy rating or just £12 to run the equivalent 30-inch TV.5

Did you know the most watched football match ever was the 2018 World Cup final that saw over 1.1 billion people tune in during the 90 minutes to watch France beat Croatia 4-2?

1 in 5 worried about increased energy use

With lockdown and social distancing restrictions still in place, fewer fans can physically attend Euro 2020 matches or watch in their favourite venue showing the game.

This means people will have to watch more games from home and pay for the extra energy used to power the TV.

And it’s not just the cost of running your TV that you have to think about.

You’ll also need to power things like your laptop for video-calling friends to rant about the referee, turning up the heating on a chilly day (despite it being summer!), boiling the kettle or chilling extra beers to calm nerves during tense free-kicks, and of course turning on lights so you can find your snacks!

Football fans watching Euro football match

In fact, a recent study about football watching habits found that one in five were worried about their increased energy use as a result of watching more football at home over a weekend.6

So, what can you do?

To help show those worries the red card and ensure you can enjoy the beautiful game in peace, check out our blog post on everyday ways you can save money on your energy bills.

Source – euractiv.com/section/energy/special_report/euro-2021-football-cup-the-green-issue/

2 According to the price of the average unit rate in the UK in 2020 of 17.2p per kWh

3 Source – metro.co.uk/2021/06/12/brits-to-blow-3000000000-and-drink-10000000-pints-as-euro-2020-kicks-off-14759062/

4 Source – drax.com

5 Source – ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/how-much-electricity-does-a-home-use.html

6 Source – independent.co.uk/sport/football/football-return-viewership-figures-premier-league-bbc-a9581546.html