Keeping the costs down is important for all retail businesses. Many large stores nowadays embrace new technology with the likes of IKEA and Tesco taking advantage of their store roof spaces to install solar panels. While this might be beyond the scope of smaller retail businesses, finding ways to cut down that energy bill without compromising on the service being delivered is key to making substantial and long lasting cost savings.
The benefit of saving on energy is that it improves the margins for all stores, making them more profitable. Whether that’s choosing the right utility company or introducing brand new technology, there is plenty that can be done to reduce the costs.
Both instore and across company sites, it’s now easier than ever to get a better overview of the amount of electricity, gas and water we are using. Without this close monitoring of energy usage, particularly during busy times like the run up to Christmas, retail businesses can’t make the intelligent changes to their energy management that save money. Smart metering is one of the most important advances having an impact for a range of businesses.
Developing an Energy Strategy for Retail Businesses
Introducing energy saving methods for retail not only helps reduce costs but is also a strong marketing tool. Many large retail businesses put their carbon friendly approach and green credentials at the forefront of their brand development. This is primarily because more people nowadays want to do business with ethical companies and actively look for evidence of this.
For retail businesses there’s not only the issue of saving power indoors but also how they manage distribution centres and delivery fleets. Without a clear cut plan in place that everyone adheres to, energy saving can be ad hoc and difficult to measure and maintain.
Making Smart Decisions
A simple change of the bulbs can deliver big reductions for retail businesses. Some 25% of retail energy bills come from lighting and switching to eco-friendlier LED can often cut costs by up to a third in some areas depending on the type of bulb being replaced.
Retail businesses that use refrigerators can reduce their outgoings when it comes to energy usage if they change to more efficient systems. There’s also the question of heating and hot water. Updating systems for energy efficient alternatives can have a major impact over the long term. Another option that retail stores go for is making sure they manage consumption out of hours and turning off the lights when there is plenty of daylight coming through the windows. With smarter timer controls and better technology costs can be reduced significantly.
Utility Management for Retail Businesses
In the old days, we used to be stuck with a supplier and there wasn’t much difference or benefit from switching. Now we have a wider choice but it can be difficult to decide which is the best way to go. Employing the services of a utility broker is becoming the norm for retail businesses across the UK.
A utility broker can help retail businesses to source the right deals at the right time, keeping down those all-important energy costs. They can carry out an audit of your existing energy plan and make suggestions about how savings can be further improved. This ensures companies lower their carbon footprint and puts them in control of consumption and managing their costs.