In 2014, a performance benchmark on energy consumption in the hospitality sector found that energy was the second highest controllable cost factor in the industry after labour costs.

For Director of the Carbon Statement Mark Chapman, this signals an opportunity for crucial savings.

‘Too many companies are wasting hard earned profits by not taking energy efficiency seriously,’ he commented.

That’s backed up by a study from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which found that small- to medium-sized businesses in the UK could save between £1.26 and £2.63 billion per year by becoming more energy efficient.

In the hospitality industry, profit margins are slim, so many outlets are searching for ways to cut back on their business electricity costs and reduce energy bills.

So, if you want to improve energy efficiency in your business, you might want to consider the following:

1. Do your research

 Running a small business might not leave you with much time to spare, but to get the best energy savings results you need to do your homework.

• Study your energy bills carefully and identify your biggest outgoings and expenses

• As you implement changes, keep tabs on the savings you’re making so you understand what is working and what is not

• Smart meters can make this process easier for electricity spend, especially with support from our new Business Energy Insight tool

• Ask your supplier about charges for your type of contract. Knowing what these are can help you decide whether to invest in energy-saving technologies now or later

2. Identify high-energy equipment and use times

 At the Sydney Arms, managers found that simply switching the fridge lighting and games machines off overnight led to significant savings on their energy bills.

Manager Emma Ferguson says ‘we go back to our bottom line all the time: the more money we save, the more we can make. That’s quite clear to us now. And in the future, we hope to make more savings’.

Understand your electronic equipment and the items that might be using high amounts of electricity, such as fridges or cooking tools.

• Look at service windows to work out periods of time when energy-consuming equipment might not be needed

• Switch items to standby or turn them off completely whenever you can

• Set temperature levels for rooms, dining areas and kitchens to fit service windows

Each business will likely have slightly different service windows, so this is one of the best ways to tailor your cost-saving measures.

3. Install eco taps and tap aerators

 As well as cutting down on water waste, these technologies can help to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or pump water.

Eco taps reduce the amount of water, while tap aerators (an extra fitting to the tap head), mix air into the water, disguising the reduction in flow so guests don’t feel the difference.

4. Make rules clear to staff

 You might be 100% committed to energy savings, but if your staff aren’t on board, then the scheme will struggle.

Make a practice of training new staff in simple energy-saving techniques including

• Switching lights off at certain times of day when natural light will suffice and

• Colour-coding light switches to show which systems operate together

• Stocking fridges to minimise energy waste

• Reporting issues like faulty fridge door seals and extractor fans

• Covering fryers when not in use

In the hospitality business it’s normal to have a high turnover of staff, so you need to make this an ongoing part of training rather than a one-off event.

*The content of this blog post is intended for general information purposes only and shall not be construed as advice or recommendation on any subject matter. Information given shall in no case exempt you from conducting your own checks.

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