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Making Your Retail Business More Energy Efficient

Retail businesses make a lot of the same mistakes when it comes to energy efficiency. In this blog post, we talk about some of the simple and more significant changes that can reduce energy consumption and costs in the retail environment. For practical energy efficiency help, speak to a member of our team about our energy consultancy services.

Lighting

A warmly-lit shop can look more welcoming. So, you don’t want to turn the lights all the way down to reduce the lighting bill.

  • Switch lights off in non-customer areas. Stock rooms, employee bathrooms and break areas don’t need to be lit all the time. You can use movement detectors to turn lights off automatically.
  • Install energy-efficient lighting. LED lights and compact fluorescent bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than standard bulbs.
  • Switch off outside lights when they’re not needed. Car park lights and shop fascia lights can be fitted with sensors so that they only come on when it is dark.
  • Turn down the lights in expensive shops. Research shows that dimmer lighting can encourage customers to make bigger, more expensive purchases in high-end shops. That’s why high-end stores have lower lighting than discount retailers like Primark and TK Maxx.

Heating

Heating accounts for around 40% of the energy used in a typical shop, so there are many opportunities to save.

  • Reduce heat in winter. Your staff may want to turn up the heating because they think it’s cold, but most of your customers will have warmer outdoor clothing on. Reducing a thermostat by 1°C can save enough energy to print 40 million sheets of paper, so find a realistic temperature that will keep staff and customers comfortable.
  • Put heating systems on a timer, so they are only on when needed. You can probably turn heating and cooling systems off an hour before closing time without anyone noticing.
  • Keep outside doors closed to prevent heat escape. If doors need to be kept open, you can use an air curtain to stop hot air from leaking out. If you use an air curtain, make sure it’s turned off at closing time.
  • Don’t use electric heaters. These are very expensive to run relative to other heating systems.

Insulation

Increasing insulation is one of the most cost-effective energy efficiency savings can make. For a relatively small initial outlay, you retail business could save £1,000s each year.

  • Add self-adhesive thermal strips around doors and windows. Draughts can account for up to 10% of a building’s heat loss. Cheap thermal strips in strategic locations can help reduce this significantly.
  • Install roof insulation to your building. Roof insulation can help you retain up to 25% more heat in your building.

Refrigeration

For some retailers, refrigeration costs can account for more than 50% of an energy bill. Modern, energy-efficient refrigeration units can save businesses money, but you don’t need a new system to reduce energy spending.

  • Cut wastage by reducing heat loads on your system. Efficiency-boosting products like strip curtains and night blinds can help reduce energy expenditure. You can also re-position refrigerators out of direct sunlight and ensure units aren’t overfilled and products aren’t blocking refrigeration vents.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks. Well-maintained refrigeration systems will use less electricity than units that aren’t regularly cleaned or serviced. Poorly-maintained units can have a higher condensing temperature or reduced evaporating temperature, resulting in a 10% increase in energy use.
  • Switch lights off in refrigerators and other cooled spaces. Switching lights off at night or when equipment is not in use can help increase efficiencies.

Energy management

Energy management – the systematic use of management technology to improve energy performance – can help retailers reduce their energy bills.

  • Review energy use in the organisation. This includes reviewing energy use and costs throughout the organisation as well as factors that affect energy use and any regulatory obligations that may affect your organisation.
  • Secure management support. Without the support of senior managers, energy management can stall. Managers often need to be convinced of the business case for implementing energy management technology.
  • Create an energy policy and strategy. This will sketch out what you want to achieve, which targets will be used to measure progress and an action plan for future action.

Reduce business energy costs

If your aim is to reduce monthly bills, Utility Helpline can help you secure a better deal on your energy. An award-winning energy broker, Utility Helpline will contact more than 20 suppliers on your behalf and help you choose the best contract for your business.

To find out more about this or any of our efficiency-saving consultancy services, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0800 043 0423.



Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )