Tourism businesses spend a fortune on energy bills every year, and these costs cut into your profits. Simple steps can be implemented to save money dramatically. More importantly, saving energy will reduce environmental damage and CO2 emissions.
Your first action will be to reduce your consumption by changing your behaviour. Very simple acts can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your bills. This will not cost you anything, because you’re only changing your behaviour. The cheapest energy is the one that’s not consumed.
Work for everyone in your business (you, your staff and your visitors) and be involved in these following acts:
Next you can reduce your consumption by having more efficient appliances for your business such as low energy light bulbs or in doing some insulation work and install double gazing. This may seem like an expensive option to implement, but the system would pay for itself within an estimated few years.
When you have reduced your energy consumption in your business, switching to renewable energy sources could be the next step. You can install your very own source of renewable energy to become more self sufficient or even switch your energy provider to one that is greener.
You can find further advice via the following websites (resources):
Better Tourism (Visit England): The tools on Better Tourism have been designed with an English Stakeholder in mind but all tourism businesses in UK are free the site (some resources may only be relevant in England). The website includes a useful tool to develop your own action plan (assess your business and then get an action plan proposition), visitor charter, green policy and a great resource zone. Requires login which is free and quick.
Energy Saving Trust: This public sector site contains all kinds of information on reducing energy usage, insulation and purchasing energy efficient products with a well explanation of the possible grants and discounts. New advice services will be available in April 2012. Energy saving tips (Top ten, for kids, in the kitchen, bedroom) and a Home Energy Check
NI direct government services: government services which provide energy efficiency tips (and also about saving water in your garden, water and energy efficiency in your home, reducing waste, greener shopping and products etc)
Carbon Trust: provides guidance to implement energy reduction projects and funding information through their Energy Efficiency Financing. You can find a lot of tools, guides and reports to download such as Creating an awareness campaign, An introduction to energy management, Green your business and Energy management self-assessment tools (excel document).
Power NI: energy provider with explanations of the various renewable energy sources (offers grants for solar PV and commercial solar water heating) and a Home energy check.
Green energy supply: Provides Transparency and Clarity on Green Electricity Tariffs and different suppliers.
ECA Scheme: The Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) Scheme allows businesses to gain tax cuts and an ‘enhanced’ 100% capital allowance on qualifying investments in equipment in the first tax year.