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Ten ways to minimise your winter fuel bills

It is inevitable that your energy bills will rise during the winter months. Colder, darker days mean you must pay more to ensure the comfort of your customers and staff alike.

Mel Williams of Spiral Utilities gives you 10 ways to ensure that your bills are as low as they can be.

1) Ensure you are on contract rates. If your supply is out of contract your rates will be significantly higher than they need to be.

2) Switch off any lights you don’t use. If there are areas of the shop that are only used occasionally then you may consider fitting sensor switches.

3) Keep the door closed during cold periods and fit an automatic closer. Why try to heat the street with your own electricity or gas?

4) Use an air curtain over the door to retain heat when the door is open.

5) If there are other doors or windows not accessible to the public fit door strips, insulation foam strips, and secondary window film to prevent heat loss.

6) Ensure your heating system is working efficiently by having it serviced correctly. If you don’t have a room thermostat, time controller – fit one.

7) Set your timer to switch off the heating 15 minutes before you close. In cold weather time it to come on 15-30 minutes before you open. This will ensure the place is warm enough for staff at the start of the day – and stop staff turning up the thermostat because they feel cold.

8) Service your air-conditioning unit. Most air conditioners and ventilation units have filters that can be cleaned by the user. A clogged filter can reduce your air conditioning unit’s efficiency by half.

9) Encourage staff to wear appropriate clothing in the winter. Your customers will enter the shop in their coats and full outdoor clothing. They will overheat if the shop is heated to a temperature for staff wearing just a thin shirt or blouse. Find a happy medium – and save energy.

10) Seal draughts, gaps and improve insulation in any roof/loft spaces where you can.

Spiral Utilities provide members with access to a wide range of business utilities services.

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