UK businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector could save at least £310m-a-year on their energy bills by adopting new energy technologies like solar panels and more efficient lighting.
If just 50% of businesses in the sector adopted new energy technology it would boost UK economic growth by £3.7 billion GVA (Gross Value Added) and support 50,000 jobs, according to a new report by Centrica.
The research suggests that savings could be achieved by adopting distributed energy technology such as efficient heating and lighting, solar, combined heat and power (CHP) and battery storage. New energy monitoring technology can also help to identify inefficient equipment and processes.
Businesses have been challenged to improve their energy productivity by 20% by 2030, as part of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.
The hospitality sector spends in excess of £1.3 billion on energy every year, according to the Carbon Trust. Heating can account for up to 60% of total spend, while 25% is spent on lighting. For a catering business, energy could make up between 4% to 6% of operating profits. Previous research has shown that 10% of energy use could be saved by making simple changes; savings of up to 40% are possible during a refurbishment.
Energy efficiency also brings significant carbon savings. Previous research published by Centrica showed the sector could reduce its annual carbon emissions by 14% through the adoption of new energy technology.