17 May How to make your retail property energy efficient
Retail businesses spend more on energy than any other commercial industry. Obviously, this is a major concern for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the more energy you use, the more you have to spend on it, reducing the profitability of your business. Secondly, we are all more aware these days about the environment, and the need to reduce our energy usage in order to preserve the planet’s natural resources for future generations.
So, this is an issue that all retailers need to be thinking about. Here are some of the ways you can make your retail business more energy efficient and save money on your overheads in the process.
1. Get an energy audit
The best way to start with making your retail property more energy efficient is by finding out exactly how much energy your retail property is using, and which fittings and appliances are responsible for the biggest percentages of that usage. An energy audit by a specialist is the most effective way to find this out. It can reveal plenty of areas where you may not have realised you’re wasting energy, and you could be saving money and resources.
A reputable professional firm offering commercial electrical solutions will be happy to provide this service for you, as they have the knowledge and experience to identify the areas where savings could be made.
2. Switch to LED lighting
Light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, are one of the best ways to reduce energy use in a retail property. They can last up to 50,000 times longer than traditional halogen bulbs. They’re also far more efficient, as they convert 95 percent of their energy into light rather than heat. This means very little energy is wasted, and you’re using a lot less of it to light your premises.
It’s easy to switch to LED lighting with the right professional support. Depending on your premises, they may not even need rewiring in order to install your new lighting solutions and you’ll be able to use dimmers to reduce energy consumption even further.
3. Have your heating and air conditioning systems checked
Old boilers and air conditioning systems are often inefficient. It’s important to have them inspected and maintained regularly by a professional to ensure that they are still safe and functioning as they should.
If your older systems are still fit for purpose, it’s advisable to have them cleaned, tuned or serviced by a specialist, as this can significantly reduce their energy use and keep them in better condition for longer. If, however, you find your systems are using too much energy, it’s worth investing in newer models, as this will save you money in the long run, as well as making your retail business instantly greener.
You can also make savings with your heating and cooling in smaller ways. You can ventilate your premises more naturally during the warmer months by keeping the doors and windows open to create a through-draft. In winter, turn off the heating an hour before closing time and close all the doors, as there should be sufficient heat stored in the building to keep everyone comfortable for the last hour of business.
4. Install occupancy sensors
Occupancy sensors are a great way to reduce energy use in retail properties. They detect motion, and automatically turn the lights on when a room is occupied and off again when the last person leaves.
This is a good idea for any store, as it negates the factor of human error, such as someone forgetting to turn off one of the lights when they leave the building, so it ends up wasting energy all night.
It is also a sensible solution for areas of your store which are used less frequently. For example, it saves you having to waste energy lighting areas such as changing rooms or toilets when nobody is using them.
Another advantage of indoor occupancy sensors is that they are an extremely low-maintenance solution. Most systems require only an annual inspection, while some can go several years without needing any maintenance at all.
Find out more about retail energy efficiency
Saving energy is important for any retail business and will have a positive impact on your profits as well as your social responsibility! At Brightlec, we are happy to advise retail businesses about the many ways you can make your business more energy efficient. Please contact us on 0800 9788 168 or 0113 894 1968 for more information.