Reducing energy costs for shops in Brighton and Hove

Shops and retail businesses in Brighton and Hove can make a big impact on their profit margin by taking action to reduce energy costs

Running a successful retail business in Brighton and Hove is challenging , especially as the city has some of the highest property rental costs and business rates in the UK.

Installing energy saving or energy generating technologies will minimise the amount of power that your business uses and achieve a significant reduction in monthly outgoings, increasing your profit margin and leaving more money available for business investment and growth.

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Why energy efficiency improvements make for a successful retail business

Maintaining a comfortable temperature for your shop is of vital importance for customer satisfaction and for ensuring a great shopping experience. If your shop premises are old or lose a lot of heat then maintaining an adequate temperature of 18oC – 21oC could become extremely expensive, especially during the colder winter months.

Many shops in Brighton and Hove are open for at least nine hours a day and stay open for seven days a week, including on Bank Holidays. This can lead not only to high heating costs in winter, but to high electricity costs as well, as lights may be switched on all day in addition to other electronic devices such as display screens, computers, tills, etc.

Photo: Justin Sanchez on UnSplash

Corner shops and supermarkets in particular can incur high electricity costs by having to keep refrigerators and chillers running constantly, meaning they are liable to experience high levels of energy consumption all year round.

In order to run a healthy and profitable business it is therefore essential for shop owners to be proactive and to take practical steps to reduce their energy costs.

A study carried out by The Carbon Trust demonstrated that a 20% cut in energy costs represents an equivalent increase in sales of 5%, meaning that business owners can improve their profit margin just by cutting down on energy costs1.

Sounds good?

Let’s get started…

Identifying the most effective ways to reduce energy costs for your shop

The most appropriate solution for improving energy efficiency will differ from shop to shop depending on the physical characteristics of the property and the particular energy demand of the service or products provided.

To gain an insight into how heat and power are used by your business and to identify the most cost-effective recommendations, our Energy Saving Service will need to complete an on-site survey and analysis of your energy bills.

We will produce a survey report detailing where heat and electricity are being wasted and recommending the best ways to fix this quickly.

Our report will look at a variety of potential solutions for your shop premises, comparing the costs and benefits of different types of technologies. This includes a breakdown of the anticipated reduction in energy demand that we could expect from installing specific measures and the corresponding financial savings on future energy bills.

This allows you to make an informed decision about which technologies will deliver the best outcomes for your business and which offer the best value for money.

BHESCo carried out an audit of our energy consumption & requirements and the options were then presented to us covering a 10-20 year timeframe. This showed how much energy each scheme would use at what cost. Once a financial case was made plus the benefit to the environment it was an obvious step to make. Kayla and her team do a fantastic job in helping to transition to a low carbon community. BHESCo were recommended to us, and we now do the same to any one who asks."
Dougal Fleming
Alistair Fleming Design Ltd

What typical upgrades can be made to improve the energy performance of shops & retail premises?

From the front door to the fridge door and the stock room to the changing room there are a great many opportunities for making improvements and reducing unneccessary energy costs in your shop.

If you own the property the best thing you can do to increase energy efficiency is to adequately insulate the roofing and the walls, if this has not been not been done so already. Insulation is one of the cheapest ways to deliver significant improvements to the thermal performance of any property.

For shop owners who rent their property there are many options available to bring down energy costs which can be implemented independently of the landlord, such as switching to LED lighting, installing movement sensors, using power down plugs, and purchasing the latest high efficiency cooling and heating units.

Some examples of ways to bring down energy costs might include:

Switching from traditional incandescent or halogen lighting to energy efficient ‘Light Emitting Diodes’ (LEDs) can reduce electricity consumption by up to 90%.

Adding motion sensors for lesser used rooms or corridors can further help to drive down energy bills.

Read more >>>

Chances are that your heating consumption makes up the lion’s share of your monthly energy bill.

Generating your heat more efficiently can greatly reduce your bills and dramatically improve comfort in your property.

Depending on the the type of building in question and the aspect of the roof you may be able to start generating your own heat using rooftop solar thermal collectors or a ground source heat pump.

Read more >>>

Owners of convenience stores should consider upgrading their food and drinks refrigerators to the latest energy efficient models.

Furthermore, replacing refrigerators which have an ‘open’ facade with one that has a sliding or a hinged door will greatly reduce the electricity demand of the refrigeration unit.

The cost of heating in the UK can be very expensive.

If you are losing heat through draughty windows and doors then your property will not only be uncomfortably cold but you will be wasting huge amounts of money as well.

Improving your windows and doors will make your property feel much warmer in the winter and much cooler in the summer.

Furthermore, as well as helping you cut down on energy bills, new windows and doors will reduce levels of noise pollution from outside.

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In many instances there is no need for lights to be left on continually. Adding motion sensors to turn lights on automatically whenever an employee is in the vicinity will cut down on waste and can achieve savings of up to 30%.

It is also advisable to install remote heating and lighting controls, enabling specific heat and light levels to be set for different zones of the building and in relation to time and seasonal variations.

Integrating remote monitoring and controls will enable facilities managers to continually gather and analyse data about a building’s energy use, adjusting heat and lighting settings in reaction to the information available, and creating a business case for the adoption of new measures where necessary.

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The importance of buy-in from staff and colleagues

In order to gain maximum benefit from any physical energy efficiency improvements that are made to the shop premises, it is vital that retail business owners have the support and co-operation of their staff.

Educating staff on effective energy management and efficient behaviours will help to embed sustainability practice into the business. When staff have a good understanding of the financial and environmental impacts of the business they will be better placed and more emotionally invested in supporting efforts to reduce energy consumption.

As well as hopefully achieving gains in profitibility, encouraging staff to reduce energy consumption at work demonstrates good corporate resonsibility and shows leadership within the wider community.

Switch Your Energy Tariff

One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce the cost of your monthly energy bills is by switching to a cheaper supplier or tariff.

BHESCo work with our trusted commercial energy broker to secure the best deals available on the market.

Check the details of your current tariff and give us a call.

Case Studies

Alistair Fleming Design, Lewes

Year: 2018

Technology Installed:

12kW SunAmp thermal energy storage unit,

wall-mounted fan convector heaters,

LED lighting

Lifetime Financial Saving: £15,620

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 166 tonnes

The Station Stores, Hove

Year: 2015

Technology Installed:

15 LED lamps, panels, and tubes

1 x 2 door chiller

1 x 3 door chiller

Lifetime Financial Saving: £11,309

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 123 tonnes

Mace Stores, Brighton

Year: 2018

Technology Installed:

12 LED lamps

1 x 2 door chiller

1 x 3 door refrigerator

Lifetime Financial Saving: £7,142

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 73 tonnes

Funding Your Energy Saving Measures

At BHESCo we understand that the upfront cost of installing energy saving measures for yoru business or organisation can be expensive.

That’s why we make our innovative ‘Pay As You Save’ financing available to all of our customers.

We cover the upfront project cost on your behalf which is then paid back over time using a portion of the savings achieved on your monthly energy bills. Once our loan is repaid you become the owner of your energy saving measures and will enjoy 100% of the savings for the lifetime of the equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

We make our Energy Saving Service available to everyone in the community whether they are a member of BHESCo or not.

Many BHESCo customers go on to become members but this is not a prerequisite.

Recent regulations in the property rental market have greatly increased the importance of having an up-to-date and accurate Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

From April 2023, all commercially rented properties must meet government issued Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) or they will be ineligible for new lettings.

An energy survey usually takes no more than 1-2 hours depending on the size of your property.
We aim to have your completed Energy Saving Report to you within five working days following the survey.

Your Energy Saving Report includes details of all the ways you are wasting heat and energy in your home in addition to our suggestions of how to address any issues with the most cost-effective solutions available.
Our suggested energy efficiency/ energy generation measures include details of typical upfront costs and anticipated payback time, as well as the expected financial and carbon reducing benefits.

Our report will include an analysis of your current gas and electric bills plus a recommendation of cheaper energy tariffs if applicable. Usually the savings made from switching tariff alone will cover the cost of the energy survey.

It is preferable that our energy surveyors are able to view each room of the property including the loft so some clearance may be required if neccessary.

It is also beneficial to have access to any meters, boilers, or hot water controls.

A copy of your most recent gas and electric bill is essential for helping us to understand yoru energy use and current costs.

If you are interested in taking action to reduce the energy costs and environmental impact of your retail business in Brighton and Hove then request and Energy Survey using the booking form link below and our Energy Saving Team will contact you within the next few working days.