Business Energy For Shops: Lower Your Bills Today
Paying too much for business energy for your shop? Read on to learn how to be more energy efficient and lower your monthly gas and electric bills.
Business energy for shops can quickly add up. With lighting, heating and cooling, plus the power it takes to run all of the electrical equipment, it’s no surprise that shop owners are often faced with high energy bills.
The good news is these bills can be significantly reduced by being more energy efficient and, most importantly, choosing the right business energy supplier.
How much energy should your shop use?
There is no conclusive answer to how much energy your shop should use. The amount of business energy your shop will use depends on its size, location, type of business and your supplier.
For a rough idea of how much energy your shop should be using, refer to the average consumption figures in the table below.
|Type of business||Number of employees||Turnover||Average annual electricity usage||Average annual gas usage|
|Micro business||Less than 10||Less than £2 million||5,000-15,000 kWh||5,000-15,000 kWh|
|Small business||10 to 49||Less than £10 million||15,000-25,000 kWh||15,000-30,000 kWh|
|Medium business||50 to 249||Less than £50 million||25,000-50,000 kWh||30,000-65,000 kWh|
Check your bill to see how much energy you’re using right now and if it is more or less than average. Having trouble figuring out what all the different charges refer to? Read our guide on ‘Understanding business energy bills’ for some extra guidance.
Reduce your business energy shop bills
Now you have a rough idea of how much energy you should be using, let’s look at how you can bring the cost of the business energy for your shop down. There are two main ways to reduce your bills: change suppliers and be more energy efficient.
1. Switch business energy suppliers
Like with domestic energy tariffs, some providers offer better gas and electric deals than others. If you feel you are paying too much for your energy, compare suppliers to find a cheaper tariff and switch.
You can conduct this comparison yourself using the steps outlined in our complete Compare Business Energy guide, or you can give Selectra a call on 020 3318 3633 or get an online quote. Our energy agents can quickly carry out a complete comparison and find you a great deal for free.
2. Be more energy efficient
Simply being more aware of how much energy your shop uses, and being more energy efficient with that usage, can significantly reduce your energy bills.
Do you often use electrical devices on standby mode? Do your changing rooms have the lights on even when customers aren’t using them? Making easy changes to avoid these examples of unnecessary energy consumption can have a big impact.
In the section below we have listed seven great ways your shop can be more energy efficient.
6 ways to make your shop more energy efficient
Making your shop more energy efficient is a great way to reduce your bills. These six golden tips can help you cut your business energy bills by as much as 20%!
A poor performing boiler can waste valuable energy so consider replacing it with a more efficient, better performing one.
It’s also important to keep your shop’s temperature at a constant level, ideally between 19° and 21°C. If you’re selling fresh food produce, it may need to be lower than this.
Reducing the temperature by just 1°C can cut your shop’s fuel consumption by 8%!
Boilers need annual services and boiler cover can save you a ton of money if something goes wrong. Check out our guide on boiler cover to see your options.
2. Cooling and refrigeration
Don’t cool your shop more than you need to. Depending on what you’re selling, find out the requirements of the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and just stick to those minimum temperatures. Any cooler and you’ll be wasting energy unnecessarily.
Ensure all your refrigerators and freezers are maintained correctly and routinely check that the door seals are in good condition. Any fans or vents should be kept clean and free of any build-up of debris.
You’ll need good lighting to provide a comfortable atmosphere for your customers, but that doesn’t mean you should pay through the roof for it.
Get rid of halogen bulbs. Not only do they consume a lot of electricity, but they also have a short life span. Replace them with eco-friendly LEDs, be it light bulbs or T8 fluorescent tubes for the ceiling.
Other energy-efficient alternatives to LEDS are halogen incandescents and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). They’ll last from 10,000 to 25,000 hours plus, since these lights generate less heat, they’ll put less strain on your air conditioning system.
If you have changing rooms and toilets, or other rooms that are used sporadically, use motion-activated lighting sensors. These can reduce electricity usage by 25%.
4. Electrical appliances and equipment
If you’re using second-hand equipment, your shop’s devices and appliances could be running inefficiently. More power to run them means more cost for your shop in the long run. Whether you need ovens, toasters, cabinet lights or other equipment for your business, review their energy efficient label to see how much they cost to run.
Energy efficient labelsItems with an energy efficiency rating of A+++, A++ or A+ on their labels are the best options for low running costs in the long term.
Also, remember to turn devices off when they are not in use; do not leave them in standby mode. Equipment merely left on standby mode can use as much as 70% of the power as they would use while being operated!
Another great way to keep the business energy bills for your shop down is good building insulation. Your shop can retain up to 25% more heat simply by improving insulation.
Work through the following checklist to see if you could improve your shop’s insulation.
- Is the ceiling hatch correctly fitted? Use weather stripping to seal it.
- Draughts coming up through the floorboards? Install bulk underfloor insulation that’s flush with the floorboards.
- Cold coming from the skirting boards and cornices? Use latex or flexible silicon-based sealants. Alternatively, remove them and foam the gap.
- Heat lost from gaps under the doors? For internal doors, use brush strip types. For external doors, use spring-loaded automatic seals.
- Air leakage from recessed downlights? Replace old downlights with modern IC, IC-F or IC-4 rated LED downlights.
6. Use smart technology
Smart technology, such as smart meters and smart thermostats, are a great way to track your energy usage and make sure your shop only uses the energy it needs. These can be connected to your smart phone so you can control your energy usage while you’re busy with customers or even out of the store.
A great use of smart technology for business energy is to connect your smart devices to an Amazon Alexa. With this, you can use IFTTT (If This Then That) apps to active or deactivate devices based on certain triggers. For example, you can set up an IFTTT trigger to turn off your shop’s lights at 9pm.
In the tables below, we have listed some useful triggers you could set up to make your shop more energy efficient and save money.
|IF… the wholesale price of electricity falls below £45 / MHh||THEN...turn down the drinks refrigerator by 2 °C|
|IF… the wholesale price of electricity exceeds £55 / MHh||THEN...turn down the boiler’s thermostat|
|IF… the time is after 06:00 am||THEN...set the hot water to heat|
|IF… the indoor temperatures exceeds 20 °C||THEN...turn down the heating by 2 °C|
|IF… the time is after 20:00||THEN...turn the store lights on|
|IF… the wholesale price of electricity exceeds £45 / MHh||THEN...turn the lights down in the customer waiting room or changing areas|
|IF… the wholesale price of electricity exceeds £45 / MHh||THEN...turn down the heating and lights.|
|IF… fresh produce has been on display for more than 5 hours||THEN...turn up the cooling-refrigeration system.|
|IF… the time is after 19.00||THEN...turn off the oven.|
Avoid the Climate Change Levy
The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a tax imposed on non-domestic energy usage to encourage businesses to be more energy efficient.
You can avoid paying this by ensuring your business energy usage is below the de minis limits outlined in the table below.
|If the supply is||The de minimis amount is less than or equal to the following|
|coal or coke||1 tonne held out for sale as domestic fuel|
|piped gas||4,397 kWhm (kilowatt hours per month)|
|metered electricity||1,000 kWhm|
|unmetered electricity||1,000 kWhm|
|LPG in cylinders||50kgs (net weight)|
|LPG in bulk||2 tonnes (of tank capacity)|
Another way to avoid the levy is to use 100% renewable energy. If all of your shop’s electricity comes from renewable sources, you will be exempt from the CCL.
Research shows that we’re all becoming conscious of reducing our carbon footprint, so going green could actually boost your business’ popularity, as well as reducing your shop’s energy-related expenses. Green energy suppliers can give you digital stickers to add to your social media in order to promote your shop’s green credentials.