The Carbon Trust is this month launching an initiative which could help pubs and restaurants drive down energy costs by as much as £37m.
The Big Business Refit will offer businesses advice and financial support to slash energy costs by replacing old inefficient equipment with energy-efficient models.
So far this year, hundreds of small businesses from independent pubs to small hotel chains are estimated to have saved £490,000 on their energy bills through the Carbon Trust's interest-free loans scheme, launched in June.
"With credit all but dried up elsewhere, the Big Business Refit breaks the deadlock by helping hospitality firms buy equipment that will both slash their costs and often transform their business," said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust.
The Carbon Trust's unsecured, interest-free loans can be used to replace equipment costing between £3,000 and £400,000 and are designed to pay for themselves through energy savings.
A total of £100m in loans is available which is expected to help up to 4,000 operators save a total of £37m off annual energy costs.
As part of the campaign the Carbon Trust is also offering hospitality operators free energy-saving assessments and an action plan to identify savings by replacing energy-guzzling equipment.
Dominic Burbridge, sector manager for hospitality at the Carbon Trust, has the following top energy-saving tips for hospitality operators:
- Switch off lights and equipment when not in use and try to use natural daylight to create a positive atmosphere.
- Use refurbishments as an opportunity to maximise energy savings by as much as 40 per cent.
- If you use outdoor heaters, ensure that guests can turn them on and off to save energy and ensure their comfort.
- Ensure that equipment maintenance is carried out and that heating, hot water and ventilation controls are working.
- Develop a 'shut-down' procedure for the end of the working day listing key checks that should be made by managers to avoid unnecessary energy use overnight.
By Emma White
E-mail your comments to Emma White here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs