1Eugene Diamond, Diamonds Newsagents, Ballymena, County Antrim
“Back in 2020, I had to close the shop for two months and we used that time to redecorate, invest in the store and do all the jobs that can be quite hard to do when you’re open seven days a week.
“One of the things we did at this time was invest in LED lighting, and I’m so glad we did – we didn’t know there was a cost-of-living crisis coming down the road at that point. Of course, there is an initial investment, but it’s been worth it.
“We’re saving roughly 30% on our electricity now and, although it’s hard to calculate it exactly because energy prices keep going up and down, making the investment in LED lighting has helped us to bring our energy bills down significantly when you compare it with where they would have been otherwise, which is only beneficial for us in the long run.”
2Mo Razzaq, Premier Mo’s Blantyre, South Lanarkshire
“We’ve started switching off our fridges at night except for where food is perishable. The fridge units holding alcohol are switched off at the end of the day.
“We’ve also stopped using our heating and put timers in our stockroom and our toilets, so they automatically switch off when they’re not in use.
“There’s also some investments we’ve made that have proved really useful in cutting our energy bills. We’ve installed solar panels on our roof, saving at least £1,200 each month, and it helps us power higher-energy parts of our store, such as the Subway franchise.
“The sweet shop we own is in the site of an old hotel and still has a meter with a separate night and day setting, which is costing us a lot of money, so I’m currently speaking to our energy supplier to get this updated, too.”
3Amit Patel, Stratford Post Office, east London
“We’ve made changes around the store to try and save energy wherever we can.
“When it comes to our air conditioners, we’ve stopped using all three of our units and we’re just using them one at a time, in rotation, to ensure they all stay in good working order. We’re also switching off the heating as much as possible.
“We have traditionally had two freezer units for ice creams and other products, but this year I have condensed this range into one freezer in a bid to further cut and reduce energy costs. I’ve taken the other freezer out and replaced it with shelving that I’m using for high-margin items, including a range of calendars, to help boost spend and become a destination. That space is now making the business money, whereas it would have been a significant cost before.”
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