Energy is the third highest overhead for retail, yet the uptake of systems and services that can help this industry save millions in energy consumption is slow.
Retailers are looking for ways to reap savings in a tough trading climate so now more than ever they need to look at their building stock and assess how it can work smarter for them.
I am still surprised to see that many high street stores and shopping centres are lit up at night, wasting energy and money on lighting – and that is just the visible energy spend. What about the air conditioning devices or the heating systems? Those back office freestanding electric heaters staff often love to use during the colder months or the electric fans they adore in the warmer times? They are the real energy culprits. From our experience these systems are left on over night costing the retailer hundreds in wasted energy consumption.
During the day when the staff enter – often a few hours before opening – all the lights are turned on. If the store has had an LED upgrade this isn’t a dramatic cost to the business but for those still on halogen lamps, lighting accounts for a huge proportion of energy use in retail stores, some 25-30% of all energy. Too much lighting also impacts on overheating therefore requiring excessive cooling of the building and instantly impacting on over spending.
We always recommend that lighting is wired to a schedule, so you can have a small amount on for staff but only ‘all lights’ are on when the store is open to the public. And not forgetting its lights out (all out!) at night.
Next is the silent energy consumers such as the air conditioning, the heating and cooling systems within the building and the over door heaters. They too need to be off at night but they can also be off in the daytime too. Controlling these systems in harmony is key so as not to have over door heaters throwing out hot air only for the first split air conditioning system in the retail store to need to cool excessively to manage the internal air temperature.
We often see that individual split AC units are running all at different temperatures to try to keep the store to a manageable 21C. Some need to cool down to 18C and others heat up to 24C. By running the systems in harmony, ensuring the over door heater isn’t adding to the heat/cool problem and by managing against external environmental conditions, a great amount of energy can be saved here and that immediately impacts on the bottom line.
They say efficient energy practices like the above can save up to 30% on the energy bill which is equivalent to a 5% increase in sales revenue for retailers. So as footfall is declining and rates are increasing, the 5% increase in revenue is harder to achieve; shouldn’t the answer for retailers therefore be to implement energy efficiency measures to seek that revenue boost?
Want to get in touch with us here at Forest Rock? Call 0330 660 0567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org