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UK hospitality industry wasting £180m on energy

24 | 05 | 13

The UK hospitality industry is overspending by £180 million a year because of inefficient energy usage.

Analysis by the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme - a joint project between the Carbon Trust and Siemens - has found a mixture of poor systems, equipment and processes are to blame for the problem, Big Hospitality reports.

It means pubs, restaurants and hotels need to have a look at how they monitor and use energy to see what improvements can be made. 

Green equipment

For example, investing in new green commercial catering equipment - including materials concerned with heating, cooling and ventilation - will reduce energy use. Typically, one-fifth of a business' annual energy costs are wasted through the use of inefficient equipment.

Darren Riva, head of green financing with the EEF scheme, noted there is huge potential for energy savings to be made. He thinks investing in new equipment is the best option and estimates this could save up to £180 million in the hospitality sector.

On top of this, the UK as a whole could see a £3.7 billion reduction in its electricity bill if energy-efficient measures were introduced, he claims. As part of the research, official figures were examined alongside data EEF has on a number of sectors. 

Access to finance

Central to the success of the scheme is financing. If restaurants cannot afford to cover the cost associated with buying such equipment, the potential benefits are not going to be realised. This is where the EEF scheme comes in, as it is designed to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to get access to lending. 

As long as a business has been trading for three years, it can apply for a loan and the expense is designed to be offset by the savings made in energy bills. 

"New, more efficient equipment should lower energy bills and with financing payments calculated so that they can be offset by anticipated energy savings, the financing option is designed to pay for itself," EEF stated.

It is looking to make £550 million available over a three-year period - it is due to end in April 2014.

The move to efficiency 

Myles McCarthy, managing director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, hopes the figures act as a wake-up call for the hospitality sector, as it points out the level of wastage and where savings can be made.

"Wise businesses that ensure their operations are using energy efficiency in these difficult economic times will reap huge benefits," he added.

Aside from upgrading kitchen equipment, there are a number of other energy saving measures pubs and restaurants can take. For example, think long-term when it comes to lighting. While energy-efficient bulbs are more expensive up-front, they last much longer.

Training is another important consideration, as individuals need to be aware of their responsibilities. By making staff aware of some simple energy saving tips - such as turning off appliances not in use - money can be saved across the board. ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801590296-ADNFCR

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