Energy efficiency in retail
The retail industry’s energy use will come from different factors depending on the type of store but generally, heating and lighting are the biggest drivers of consumption. Refrigeration also takes a big percentage of the costs where applicable. Good management could bring real results as there are often many factors that are not considered. For example, retail businesses tend to have high levels of heat gain from staff, lighting, customers and equipment, therefore ventilation and air conditioning are under pressure to maintain temperatures.
To help you become more energy efficient, we’ve included a list of steps you can take, from changes that don’t cost anything, to longer-term investment which can bring higher savings. You should be able to implement these without making your store any less attractive to potential buyers, but in such a way that you reduce your fixed costs.
Who is this for?
Larger retail stores
Simple no cost changes
Straightforward low-cost changes
Cost per lamp: LEDs vs CFLs vs halogens
|Watts (equivalent lamps)||6W||11W||35W|
|Purchase per lamp||£6.00||£3.50||£2.00|
|Typical annual lamp use (hours)||1,000h||1,000h||1,000h|
|Typical lamp lifetime (in hours)||30,000h||10,000h||2,000h|
|Typical lamp lifetime (years)||30 years||10 years||2 years|
|Cost of lamp purchases over 30 years||£6.00||£10.50||£30.00|
|Annual energy consumption per lamp||6kW||11kW||35kW|
|Annual electricity cost per lamp at 14.05/kW||£0.84||£1.55||£4.92|
|Total cost per lamp per year (Averaged over a typical LED malp life - 30 years)||£1.04 per year||£1.90 per year||£5.92 per year|
*Data from the Energy Saving Trust's "Selecting low energy lighting" guide.
Long-term savings from the right investments
Start by making a note of your current consumption.
By default, your smart meter will record consumption data in 30-minute intervals. You can use this starting point as a benchmark.
Do you notice any variations during the year?
Make a note of them and think about what could cause them. For example, if your business is affected by the weather, you could save energy by investing in better insulation and save money in the long term.
Benchmark your current energy use
How does it compare to last year or last season? Make sure you analyse similar time periods (for example, December 2018 with December 2019) to make sure the improvement in efficiency isn’t influenced by other factors.
How much are you going to reduce your consumption by?
Set a realistic goal and a target date of when you’ll measure consumption again to track how you’re doing.
Choose the steps you’ll take to achieve those goals
Use the categories above to put advice into practice and involve your employees. To motivate staff, try to make it into a competition. Why not offer a free meal out to the team that comes up with the most energy saving ideas or commit to donating the savings to a local charity that they choose?
Make the changes and measure the results
Communicate all improvements with your staff, no matter how small, to encourage an energy efficient state of mind. And when you're ready to make more changes to become energy efficient, come back to this action plan and start again.
The facts, figures and advice have been sourced from the Carbon Trust, Energy Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly known as the Department of Energy and Climate Change).