Simple steps to cut some costs

Summer can be an expensive time for pubs, but saving money can be easier than you think, writes Mark Bowen of Scottish Power

WHETHER you operate a bar or hotel, pub or restaurant, the summer months are hopefully keeping your business very busy.

However, it can be beneficial at this time of year to consider adapting energy practices to ensure you’re making the most of natural heat and light.

We know from talking to business owners that energy efficiency might not always be a priority.

But we’re working hard to encourage SMEs to take control of energy choices in line with the change in seasons to not only save money, but also create a productive and comfortable setting for employees to work in and a welcoming environment for customers.

Energy efficiency is easier than you might think, and we’ve got some simple recommended practices which will help you notice a difference in your business’s energy consumption.

• Turn your thermostat down by 1°C.

It sounds so simple, but turning your thermostat down by just 1°C could save you up to eight per cent on your energy.

The recommended temperature level in bars is between 20ºC and 22°C and in restaurants is 22ºC and 24°C, so keep an eye on the heat in your business to ensure it’s not going to waste.

• Keep things fresh.

Humid summer days can hamper staff comfort and productivity.

By keeping your working atmosphere fresh and comfortable you can help ensure a positive environment for staff and customers alike.

Guests love the chance to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice, so consider your options for al fresco dining or open up any doors and windows to let the outside in.

If you’re using air conditioning, ensure these are only active in occupied rooms.

There are some simple practices to save money and create a comfortable setting.

• Make use of natural light. Lighting accounts for up to 25 per cent of a business’s energy use, and with longer and brighter days it’s likely that you won’t need to use nearly as much lighting as usual.

The easiest way to manage your lighting is to ensure all lights are turned off when a room is unoccupied and encourage staff to only use lights they need rather than your main lighting system.

If your business tends to operate outwith daylight hours, or if lighting is essential to create the right atmosphere, switch to LED bulbs to make energy savings of up to 90 per cent.

Although this may require initial investment, the long-term savings will pay off.

• Let technology do the work. On a beautiful sunny day keeping an eye on your energy consumption might not be at the forefront of your mind.

Why not consider investing in the latest technology such as temperature monitoring systems that will automatically adjust cooling and heating accordingly in line with your hours of operation?

You can also manage energy consumption on the go using an app or online tools; this means you’re able to focus more time on the general running of your business.

[box style=”0″]

 Mark Bowen is UK marketing director at Scottish Power.