How To Save Energy
On Wednesday 21st September The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy announced a new package to help businesses with the ongoing energy crises, targeted at helping businesses and providing stability in prices.
What was announced?
In short over the next 6 months the government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers. They are doing this by setting a wholesale price of
£211 per MWh for Electricity (21p per KWh)
£75 per MWh for Gas (0.075p per KWh)
This is less than half of what the prices were expected to be over the coming months so provides some welcome reassurance and stability.
However, this is still considerably higher than the previous peaks of 2008 when electricity hit £90 per MWh and at the time this was considered extremely high. So there are still many challenges ahead and even with these discounts and caps, energy costs will be a large proportion of your expenditure.
Who qualifies for the new packages?
All non-domestic customers as long as your current price per unit is above the cap they have set.
No discounts will be applied if you are already paying less than the capped prices.
What do you need to do and what happens next?
Nothing, the discounts will be automatically applied to your bills from October. How the discounts are applied depends on what type of contract you are on.
Remember this is a discount. So you may see your price per MWh or KWh still be higher than what is listed by the government, but a discount will be added at the end of your bill to bring the price down.
A review will be published 3 months into the scheme to identify how or if the government will provide assistance after the initial end date.
An Example of how it will work
- A pub uses 4 MWh of electricity and 16 MWh of gas a month.
- They signed a fixed contract in August 2022, giving them a current monthly energy bill of about £7,000.
- At the time they signed their contract, wholesale prices for the next 6 months were expected to be higher than the Government Supported Price of £211/MWh for electricity, and £75/MWh for gas, meaning they can receive support under this scheme.
- The difference between expected wholesale prices when they signed their contract and the Government Supported Price is worth £380/MWh for electricity and £100/MWh for gas, meaning they receive a discount of £3,100 per month, reducing their bill by over 40%.
We have put together some tips on how you can save energy. Will these tips reduce your energy bills to what they were last year. Unfortunately not. But we do hope these tips can help you to reduce your bills and help you weather the storm.
Previously tips like turning off unused equipment and avoiding waste were more to do with your carbon footprint and these slight changes did not make much difference to your bills at the end of the month. The bills were reasonable a year ago. However, with the unprecedented rise in energy costs we know that this is going to have a big impact on many businesses over the winter and into next year.
Small adjustments now can have a sizeable impact on your energy bill. We are not saying the below is going to make your bills what they were before, but even if they can save you a few hundred pounds per month, anything right now will be helpful.
1. Smart Thermostats and Heating
Smart thermostats can really help you to manage temperature and usage of energy. They allow you to remotely manage and control the temperature. Remember that more people in your establishment will require less heating, so at busy times you may be able to turn it down.
Managing the temperature and being as frugal with it as you can without making customers uncomfortable is one of the best ways you can save on energy costs this winter.
Even turning down your temperature by 1 degree can make a big difference to your bills.
Take a look at the temperature your hot water is being heated up to. Again knocking off a degree or 2 is unlikely to be noticed by customers and your staff, but will mean your boiler does not need to work as hard.
Avoid electric heaters. These are very costly to run and can very quickly increase your electric bill. If you need portable heaters look for plug-in oil heaters, but really you want to avoid their use wherever possible.
Typically a third of your energy costs are related to heating so savings here can have a noticeable impact.
2. Switching off unused equipment during a shift and overnight
- Plug Sockets
- Lights (especially outdoor lighting and lights in storage cupboards which often are overlooked and left on. You can put this on a timer so that you are not reliant on your staff to remember to switch them off).
- Outside Heat lamps (Put a sign up for customers to ask for these to be switched on if required).
You can use smart plugs, which are remote control plugs to enable appliances to be turned off easily, for those hard to reach sockets.
There will also be equipment in your kitchen you might only use for certain dishes or at certain times of day, yet the equipment is left on all day in preparation for it being used once or twice a day. Turning these off might well slightly extend prep time for these dishes, but can help you to further cut down on energy costs. Even your kitchen hoods can be switched off when not in use.
Your staff may preheat ovens when they come in, but they are then not used for a couple of hours whilst other prep takes place. Only preheat or switch items on when you know it is going to be needed.
You might have an extra till that is only used when you are busy. Turn this off until you need to use it.
In essence, you need a structured plan for not just how you use equipment, but when and how it should be turned on and off.
3. Fridges and Freezers
Fridges and freezers use a lot of energy to keep cool and there are a few tips that can really help lower their energy usage.
You can try increasing the temperature of your fridges and freezers. The less cooling is required, the less energy is used.
Try to keep the temperature of the kitchen down. The hotter your kitchen the harder your appliances such as fridges and freezers have to work, using more energy.
Where these pieces of equipment are located is also important to consider. Refrigeration equipment needs space to be able to draw in fresh air. If your equipment or ventilation openings are blocked by other equipment, this will force this equipment to work harder, therefore using much more energy to achieve the same result.
This also means if your refrigeration units are next to cookers, or other equipment that gives off heat, again they have to work considerably harder to keep cool. Consider moving them to a cooler area.
4. Servicing Equipment
Ensuring equipment such as your boilers and cookers are serviced frequently can also help you to reduce energy bills. Getting equipment serviced allows it to perform at its maximum efficiency.
We talk about fridges and freezers again as they also require servicing and cleaning to ensure they are working at maximum efficiency.
Cleaning dust out from appliances can help to ensure they are not overworking to get the air they need to operate
Also, ensure all ventilation is operating correctly and that any pipes or hoses are free from cracks or leaks
5. Staff Training
Staff training can also play a critical role in helping you to alleviate energy costs. Here a few tips to help your staff help you save energy.
- Don't allow staff phones to be recharged constantly
- Put up signs on all appliances, reminding your staff to switch them off after use
- Ensure you have proper opening and closing procedures so that your staff do not turn on unnecessary equipment or leave items turned on overnight.
- Get your staff to check all plugs and lights, even those ones that are often overlooked, like storage cupboards
6. Use energy-efficient equipment
LED Lightbulbs: Inefficient lightbulbs can be surprisingly expensive. Switching to LED bulbs can save upto 80% on your lighting costs.
Solar Lighting where possible
Look at upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment. Upgrading to induction hobs helps to ensure that all the heat is sent into the food, therefore again reducing waste. Equipment with a rating of A++ is the most energy efficient. Just like lighting, having energy efficient equipment can help you to reduce your energy costs.
Small gains now really do all add up to quite considerable savings on energy consumption and cost. These small changes really will add up.
Will they return your bills to what they previously were? No, of course not, but we hope that combining this advice will help you to reduce them enough to make a noticeable difference over what your bills could have been if you just carried on as normal.
Breakdown of Energy usage in restaurants
- Food Preparation - 35%
- HVAC - 28%
- Sanitation - 18%
- Lighting - 13%
- Refrigeration - 6%
With the continual rise of energy prices, you may have to look at increasing your prices. We put together a blog from last month's newsletter on how to communicate price changes and how you can do it within Till Tech. See the blog here