Energy saving in the spotlight

Implementing efficiency measures needn’t cost a fortune

Turning off heating and lighting in unoccupied rooms is one way operators can cut energy use.

ENERGY efficiency has emerged as a key growth strategy for small businesses.

According to new research from energy supplier Npower, 42% of SMEs recognise the commercial benefits of saving energy, with almost half (44%) cutting their energy use by 5% to 10% in the last year and 59% of small business operators saying they plan to increase energy efficiency measures in the coming year.
And it seems there’s no shortage of ways pub, restaurant and hotel operators can reduce their business’s energy costs.
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said there are a number of measures licensees can put in place straight away at no or minimal cost.
“Space heating and air conditioning are major expenses for many pubs and implementing simple changes will see a reduction in energy spend whilst maintaining staff productivity and customer comfort,” he said.
“Changes include making sure windows and doors are closed when the heating or air conditioning is on; checking and fixing sources of unwanted heat; turning off heating and cooling in unoccupied rooms and making sure radiators are unobstructed.
“To reduce the use of artificial light, use natural light wherever possible; fit energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps and ensure lighting controls are clearly labelled.”
Operators seeking to cut energy costs should also consider their pub, restaurant or hotel’s kitchen.
Bob Wood, sales director at DC Products, said choosing energy efficient kitchen equipment can result in substantial savings.
“As warewashers have historically been one of the largest energy consumers in the kitchen they are also in a position to be one of the greatest savers,” he said.
“By choosing the right machine you will immediately start to reduce your energy consumption and improve your profit margin.”
Licensees should also consider how much they are paying for electricity and shop around for the best deal, according to Scott McMillan, director of utilities price comparison site Energy for Less.
“The contract renewal process only allows a relatively short window for a premises to renew their electricity and gas contracts and if this is not actively managed, the current supplier can roll the customer onto a higher priced contract for a further 12 months with prices sometimes showing as much as a 30% increase,” he said.

Image – Turning off heating and lighting in unoccupied rooms is one way operators can cut energy use.