As one of the most varied sectors in the UK, there is no rulebook for energy management within the retail sector. However, there are certain steps all retail businesses can take to reduce their energy consumption, improving their overall energy efficiency and saving on energy costs.
Small changes can amount to a big difference. We has put together this quick guide to help you better manage your business’ energy usage.
Retailers rely on bright lighting to entice customers, so it is no surprise that lighting often accounts for their biggest energy expense. Whilst the right lighting is essential for any retail business, there are ways in which you can lower your energy usage on lighting whilst still maintaining the same level of illumination:
- Invest in low energy lighting – LED and similar lights can use up to 80% less electricity than conventional lightbulbs.
- Use movement detectors – staff-only areas are often only occupied for a few hours each day, so this is a great place to save energy on lighting.
- Regular maintenance – ensuring that bulbs and fittings are regularly cleaned, tested and replaced can reduce lighting levels by up to 30% a year.
- Encourage staff to turn off lights when they are not needed.
Heating accounts for 29% of energy costs in commercial buildings, but you can be more energy-efficient without compromising the comfort of your customers and employees.
- In warm weather, turn down the heating rather than opening the windows – turning down the temperature by just 1C could lead to an energy saving of 8%.
- Reconsider your open door policy – limiting when doors are open can make a big impact on the amount of hot air escaping.
- Consider installing automatic doors, which only open when necessary.
- Set up timers – work around your store’s opening times, ensuring no energy is wasted when the majority of the store is empty.
Up to 20% of the energy used for refrigeration could be cut, with minimal or no cost.
- Switch lighting in chillers off outside opening hours – the light generates heat, countering the cooling of the chiller.
- Keep chiller doors shut – consider using reminders, such as stickers.
- Maintain recommended temperature settings.
It is essential to take energy management measures, in order to reduce energy costs. IMServ recommends taking the following steps in order to encourage better energy management throughout your business:
- Invest in an energy data collection service:we offer both specialist Half-Hourly and Non-Half-Hourly data collection services. Data collection will help you develop a more accurate picture of your energy consumption, which is collected remotely, without requiring more costly manual meter reads. You can make a huge saving by receiving more accurate bills, based on actual consumption, rather than against estimate average profiles.
- Involve your staff: with limited knowledge of the business’ energy costs, employees are unlikely to take an active role in helping reduce business energy consumption. As part of our Data Collection service, we will provide you with access to Energy DataVision (EDV) – an online portal with easy-to-interpret visualisations of your energy data. EDVcan help your staff discover areas for energy
- Make changes and measure the results: with a clear overview of your energy consumption data, giving you a starting point as a benchmark, you can monitor the impact your energy efficiency actions have on your energy usage – and cost savings!