Lake District tourism businesses save energy (and more!)
Businesses in the UK waste on average 10-20% of the energy they buy, so we set about working with Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency to help tourism businesses save money and energy. The best way to calculate savings is to look at your current energy use. The next step is to look at where this energy is going, and then identify opportunities, and finally to calculate savings.
Together we found many ways to save energy and money; from draught proofing doors, to switching to LED lights, to installing recycling points. It was also great to hear about the many things that businesses are already doing. Some of my favourite ideas include refilling glass water bottles, installing light sensors, and fitting insulating curtains.
Earlier this year we invited tourism businesses to sign up for energy efficiency audits, and in February and March I set about visiting twenty business owners and managers across the Lake District National Park. It was great to visit some of our members, and meet some new faces too!
We audited business in Bowness and Windermere, Kendal and Grasmere, and even the Newlands Valley. Businesses that signed up included hotels, B&Bs, self-catering cottages, and a café and a museum too. Everyone we audited had their own unique needs and opportunities, but one thing they had in common was their enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference to their business and our environment.
One B&B switched from conventional bulbs to LED bulbs, saving £175 every year, so the payback for the bulbs was just over half a year, and they saved 400kg of CO2 emissions each year.
When we looked at current energy management it was clear that some businesses are aiming to do everything they can. In order to recognise the good work that they are doing, we recommended that 12 businesses apply for an environmental award such as Cumbria Business Environment Network Green At Heart or Green Tourism Business Scheme.
For more information about saving energy in your business, visit these helpful websites