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Retail Store Energy and Utilities

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Discover whether you could be saving on what you pay for your retail store gas and electricity. See the best deals from UK suppliers with Business Energy Comparison.

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In recent years retail stores have come up against many financial challenges. The convenience of online shopping has hit many bricks and mortar stores hard. Many shops then struggled through covid regulations only to face rising energy costs.

As rising energy costs are affecting the domestic market as well, this is impacting how people shop. More than half of polled consumers stated they would cut back on non-essential spending because of the cost of living crisis in the UK.

It has always made good business sense for stores to monitor their costs. After all, nobody wants to pay more for something than they have to. But now more than ever, cost-cutting has become an essential part of any business.

Lowering energy bills at a time when costs are spiralling may seem like an uphill battle, but there are solutions.

At Business Energy Comparison we help retail stores compare the best energy rates on the market. We are also dedicated to helping our customers save money in other ways.

Keep reading to find out how you can reduce retail store business gas and electricity prices. You will also pick up some tips on other ways to lower your energy consumption.

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Retail stores are designed to entice customers in and ensure they are in an environment that will keep them satisfied. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of energy to do this.

Ensuring the store is kept at an optimal temperature is essential. This can mean having heaters on for most of the winter, and air conditioning during the summer.

Stores must also be properly lit to display the goods on sale. If you walk into a dimly lit shop you are less likely to see all the items on offer properly. It might also seem less inviting.

Some stores, including Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, have purposefully dark stores. This may seem counterproductive to fashion brands trying to showcase their stock to many. However, they see it as creating an atmosphere. It is safe to say they are in the minority.

Retail stores also have tills and computers to power. Staff rest areas and cafeterias need a power source and staff and public toilets need a water supply.

Identifying the biggest energy drains in retail stores can help you to implement measures to reduce energy consumption.

The biggest energy drains in retail stores include:


Good lighting is essential in the retail sector. A brightly lit shop can seem more appealing to a potential customer than a dimly lit competitor.

Good lighting will help to showcase the products on sale and can be used to direct the customer’s attention to certain items.

A good example of how important lighting is to a retail store is by looking at the freezer aisle in a supermarket.

All the freezers will have internal lighting so customers can see what is available behind the glass of a refrigerated cabinet. If a light is out, the immediate thought of a customer will be negative. This can impact whether or not they would then buy anything from this section.

Temperature Control

The temperature of retail premises is every bit as important as the lighting. The UK is relatively lucky in comparison to other parts of the world in terms of temperature extremes. However, measures still need to be taken to create the ideal temperature.

Heating during the winter is essential for many shoppers. Large retail businesses like supermarkets need to find a way to heat large, warehouse-like areas efficiently.

During the summer, air conditioning can make shopping significantly more comfortable. Stores that sell food also have to think about products that can melt in high temperatures.

Refrigeration Units

Not all businesses in the retail sector will rely on refrigeration for their products. However, shops with refrigerated and frozen sections will need to rely on this all the time, not just during their opening hours.

Failing to keep certain items frozen or chilled can result in wasted stock. Freezers and refrigerators will be essential in a range of stores including:

Design Elements

How To Reduce Energy Bills For Retail Stores

One way that businesses are trying to reduce gas and electricity bills is by reducing energy usage. Implementing a series of energy-saving measures can significantly reduce rising energy bills.

Here are some of our top tips for retail stores to save energy:


Lighting will be one of the biggest uses of electricity for most retail stores. Exploring ways to reduce lighting costs is advisable for all businesses. In particular, it can offer significant savings for large businesses.

Switching to energy-saving LED light bulbs will cut your energy usage. They typically use less than half the energy incandescent lighting uses.

Another great way to reduce your energy usage through lighting is to install motion sensors. This is great for areas that aren’t used as often. It ensures lights aren’t left on and are only activated when someone is there.

Making use of natural light is another way to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Skylights and well-positioned windows are great ideas.


Heating can be difficult to manage. In cold weather, it will be essential for many retail stores to heat their buildings.

Exploring different heating methods to find the one that best suits the property is essential. You should speak with a heating expert who will be able to check the building type and space that needs to be heated.

One way to reduce a heating bill is to turn the thermostat down by just 1°C. This small difference can save as much as 10% from the heating bill.

Air conditioning

Using air conditioning during the summer can make the premises inviting. It can encourage customers to stay and browse so it can be a worthwhile investment. There are some things that can be done to ensure you aren’t wasting energy when using air conditioning.

Using air conditioning in a space that keeps doors or windows open can waste a lot of energy. The air conditioner will be fighting to cool the air when warm air is allowed to enter. Keeping doors and windows closed allows for greater efficiency.

While natural light will help to reduce lighting bills, direct sunlight can increase the temperature and may damage stock. Investing in tinted windows can reflect direct sunlight and stop dramatic temperature increases.

This can make it easier for air conditioning units to moderate the indoor temperature.


A properly insulated space will be able to retain heat during the winter. This is an essential part of reducing energy consumption and lowering business energy costs.

Purpose-built retail structures will typically be designed to be efficient. Sometimes older premises will be repurposed and won’t offer this same efficiency.

In this case, you can look at insulation options or install energy-efficient windows. While there will be an initial outlay, it can help to reduce business energy bills over time.

Another great way to minimise the impact hot or cold air from outside has on the shop floor is by installing a vestibule.

Not all retail premises will have the space or capability for a vestibule to be fitted. However, they are a great way of improving efficiency and security.

Having two sets of doors stops the air from outside from getting into the store directly. You might have noticed many supermarkets have two sets of automatic doors to minimise the chances of this happening.

It can also prove to be a deterrent for opportunistic thieves who look at easy entrances and exits when considering their risk factors.

Switching off machinery

There is usually electronic equipment in retail stores that doesn’t need to be left on overnight. This can include computers and tills.

Switching these off rather than leaving them on standby will save a lot of energy over the course of a year. The more equipment that can be turned off completely, the better.

Leaving items on standby typically uses between 9% and 16% of the energy it would use when fully powered.

End-of-night checks

End-of-night checks only take a few minutes but will help to reduce business energy waste. Taking the time to turn off lights and any equipment or machinery that doesn’t have to stay on will help to cut business electricity and gas bills.

Checking toilets and kitchens to ensure taps are shut off properly will also help to reduce utility bills.

Energy audit

These are all great ways to help large, small, and medium businesses save money on energy. Another excellent way to ensure you are doing everything you can is by carrying out an energy audit.

An energy audit can be carried out by a trained professional who will take the time to explore the premises. They will then write a report identifying areas that can be improved.

This is an excellent way for retailers to make use of the auditor’s experience and recommendations to implement changes. The data can also be used to educate staff on ways they can minimise energy loss.

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Being able to reduce energy bills will positively affect profits. Taking the time to look at ways to reduce business gas and electricity use should be essential for all retailers.

Another excellent way to reduce energy costs is by comparing suppliers and finding the best rates.

Business Energy Comparison takes the hassle out of finding competitive business energy rates. We work with some of the top suppliers in the industry to provide you with a selection of great quotes.

All we need from you is the business address. We are then able to use industry-held data to find information about your energy use and current supplier.

In minutes, we will provide you with a list of quotes for you to choose from. If you decide to switch suppliers, we will guide you through the process and take the reins.

Our expert team of business energy brokers and consultants provide you with all the support you need for a quick and easy switchover.

You can then focus on your business, as We will arrange an interruption-free switch with your new supplier.


Rising energy costs are affecting everyone. The knock-on effect of the impact on domestic energy consumers is there is less money for people to shop.

Finding ways to reduce energy bills has become essential for many. This is a result of a less affluent customer base and the rising cost of energy affecting many retail stores.

The tips provided in the article above can help retailers reduce their energy consumption and cut the cost of bills.

The support we provide businesses with is another excellent way to cut costs. Our simple comparison service cuts the time it takes to find competitive energy prices. We also make switching easy.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the cost of business energy, get in touch with Business Energy Comparison today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much energy does an average micro business in the UK use per year?

An average micro business in the UK might use from 5,000 kWh to 15,000 kWh of electricity and 5,000 kWh to 15,000 kWh of gas per year.

How much energy does an average small business in the UK use per year?

An average small business in the UK might use from 15,000 kWh to 25,000 kWh of electricity and 15,000 kWh to 30,000 kWh of gas per year.

How much energy does an average medium business in the UK use per year?

An average medium-sized business in the UK might use from 25,000 kWh to 50,000 kWh of electricity and 30,000 kWh to 65,000 kWh of gas per year.

How much energy does an average large business in the UK use per year?

An average large business in the UK might use in excess of 50,000 kWh of electricity and 65,000 kWh of gas per year.