Retailers can & should act to reduce multi-million pound energy bill, says CUB

The fact that the UK’s 40 largest shopping centres consume an astonishing £40m of energy per year increases the importance of the retail sector getting a better grip on its management of energy usage, both for cost and environmental reasons.


That’s the message from independent energy management consultancy CUB, which says that retailers need to adopt a more proactive approach to energy management that would help them better control their consumption and reduce their energy spend.


“The retail industry is historically quite resistant to change, especially if retailers believe that change may be off-putting for potential customers,” explains CUB managing director, Louis Fairfax. “After all, it’s only been in recent years that some supermarkets have started to put glass doors on their cold cabinets as a way of reducing both energy bills and their carbon footprint. Increasingly, though, shoppers want to see retailers actively working towards lower carbon usage.”


Fairfax, who quotes a Carbon Trust figure that a 20% cut in energy costs would represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales for a retailer, says that this proves the argument for more effective energy management is as much economic as it is environmental.


“In this economic climate, the more energy efficient retailers become, then the lower their overall cost base and the more competitive they will be,” he added. “But this is not just about buying gas and electricity more efficiently but also about taking a holistic view of the retail premises and beginning to effect often small but valuable changes, whether that’s through low energy lighting, heat recovery or lighting control systems.”


Fairfax urged retailers to embrace a campaign launched by the British Council for Shopping Centres to reduce carbon usage, especially as up to 60% of retail premises fall below the E-grade minimum energy rating required by legislation by 2018.


CUB works with businesses across a broad range of sectors – particularly those whose activities are energy intensive – to monitor and manage energy delivery on an ongoing process. This ensures that they are always buying from the most competitive tariff and taking advantage of grants that maybe available which could help offset the introduction of new technologies.


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