Do you know how much energy you are wasting at work? We’re not talking about all that running around you do but the cost of your utilities.
A study by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and energy specialists Carbon Architecture has found that managed pubs spend between two and four per cent of turnover on energy. That number is even higher for tenanted, leased and freehold pubs which may not have bulk-buying power.
But with a few simple steps pubs can save an average of 17 per cent on their energy costs – that's around £3,500 back on your bottom line.
Here's 15 things you can do to make those savings.
1. Think about where you are wasting power
The main energy burners are in the kitchen, heating the cellar, the letting rooms and the bar. While the kitchen tops that list it isn't the easiest place to make savings – unless you want to turn off the ovens and dishwashers and serve salads on paper plates only.
2. Turn it off
Yes, it may be stating the bleeding obvious but 40 per cent of pubs don't turn off kitchen appliances. Just turning off the hobs for an hour a day can save a whopping £180 a year.
3. Extracting power
More than half of pubs have extractors with variable speeds, yet most don't use this function. An extractor at 75 per cent speed saves 50 per cent of energy.
Energy saving lightbulbs have become more widely used but are they used throughout the pub? When you upgrade lighting make sure back of house is included too. LED lighting can halve your costs.
Have you got an energy-efficient condensing boiler? No? You're not alone. Only 46 per cent of pubs do but they are saving up to £500 a year. They condense water vapour in exhaust gases to recover heat that would have been wasted, in case you were wondering.
6. It's all in the timing
Why have the heating on when the pub's closed or the temperature outside is heating up? It sounds simple yet three-quarters of pubs do not have a heating schedule – which could save you £200 a year.
In the same way that you might isolate or turn up the music to keep customers happy you can do it with the heating too. Why have a hot corner if everyone is at the bar or congregating in different areas?
8. Get the room right
Pubs with letting rooms generally spend more on energy but simple measures can keep these costs down. For example, only 12 per cent of rooms are fitted with energy sensors telling you when guests are in or out. Guests outside do not need a warm room.
9. Towel rails
How many times have you been in a hotel bathroom that feels like a sauna in a rain forest? Will Todd from Carbon Architecture says that by putting towel rails on timers "you can save £200 a year and improve the guest experience."
Energy in the cellar is split between cooling and refrigeration. The simple way of saving energy is to turn cooling off in the evenings. You can also buy systems that pump cold air in from outside when the temperature drops below 8 degrees. This could save £200 a year but it may take five years to make the initial investment back
11. Remote controls
Apps and remote controls now allow you to control room temperature without having to enter the room itself. Use it and give staff that power.
12. Water waste
Beyond the obvious of turning off taps you could also invest in a low-flow shower heads, saving significantly on hot water use.
Staff must be taught about energy saving so they can help too. You could even incentivise them, but tread carefully because cold and dark rooms might save on gas and electricity but they can cost customers.
14. Shop around
While you can save by making changes you also need to get the best deal you can. Watch out for utility companies promising the world, especially when you start a new business and have more to do than time allows.
15. Check out the guidance available to you.
Further guidance from the BBPA is available at www.beerandpub.com