Did you know that hair salons are one of the biggest energy users of all small businesses? By saving energy you can also save money, and demonstrate to clients that you are an eco-friendly hair or beauty business. We asked Dr Denise Baden of Southampton Business School for some expert energy efficiency advice.
This blog post covers:
- Taking positive action to save energy
- Upgrading your lighting
- Switching off equipment
- Turning down your heating
- Minimising the use of air conditioning
- Maintaining your boiler
- Appointing ‘energy champions’
- Getting the best deal and shopping around
- Member case study: leading the way
“There is no way to completely cut out energy consumption in a salon; there are certain pieces of equipment that are essential and require energy,” says Denise.
“However, there are positive steps that salon owners can take to reduce their energy consumption. Not only will these make you a more eco-friendly salon, they could also save you money.”
Lighting can account for up to 40% of a salon’s electrical use, explains Denise. “Luckily, this is an area where small changes can have big results. By replacing halogen bulbs with eco-friendly LEDs, you could save hundreds of pounds each year, while also improving your salon’s image.”
Also - take advantage of natural light as much as possible. You could also consider installing sensors in key areas such as storage rooms, toilets and staff areas. This would ensure that lights are only on when people are around without the need to remember to turn them off.
Always switch off equipment such as curlers, hairdryers and straighteners when they’re not being used, advises Denise.
“Leaving them switched on, even leaving them on standby, will waste energy,” she says. “In fact, over a year, your salon could be losing hundreds of pounds just by leaving equipment on standby.”
Also - when investing in new equipment, make sure it has a high energy efficiency rating.
Heating and hot water can account for up to 60% of your total energy use, says Denise. “By turning the temperature in your salon down by just 1°C you could reduce your annual heating bill by almost 10%, and it’s unlikely that your customers or staff will even notice the change.”
It's also a good idea to check that your salon or barbershop's door and windows are properly insulated to ensure heat is kept in during the winter months.
Air conditioning can increase your salon’s energy consumption by up to 100%. If possible, open doors and windows instead and only use the air conditioning when the temperature is above 24°C.
Another way to maintain a cool temperature without resorting to air conditioning is to invest in good quality blinds for your windows.
A boiler that’s not regularly maintained could increase your energy consumption by up to 30%. If your boiler is regularly serviced and working efficiently, you could cut up to 10% off your annual heating bill.
It’s a good idea to appoint ‘energy champions’ in your salon. This needn’t be anything complicated – for example, you can simply ask particular members of staff to make sure equipment and lights are turned off at the end of the day.
"With only 20% of small businesses in the UK actively engaging in switching their energy contracts, there are a large number of salons potentially overpaying for their energy, especially considering their high energy use," says NHBF Trade Member Make It Cheaper. "By having the conversation with suppliers, there are various ways to cut costs and improve energy efficiency."
You may also want to consider changing to a green energy provider or having solar panels installed to improve your green credentials. Solar panels could also reduce your bills.
Also - ask your utility company if they offer free energy audits. They may come up with some great ideas to help save money on your bills.
• Instal energy efficient lighting.
• Switch off equipment when not in use.
• Turn down your heating by 1°C.
• Minimise use of your air conditioning.
• Maintain your boiler on a regular basis.
• Appoint energy champions.
• Make sure you’re getting the best deal from your supplier or shop around.
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