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Reduce the cost of running your pub. Part 1 - Lighting.

There was some good news to be found in George Osborne’s 2014 budget, especially if you run a pub, or like the occasional snifter yourself.  The budget took a penny off the pint, just as it did in 2013.  OK, so a penny isn’t going to save the industry on its own, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction (that direction being towards the bar for another round). In an age of rising prices, anything that keeps the good things in life reasonably priced and within reach is to be commended.  The neighbourhood pub is one of the cornerstones of any community – The Big Society rendered in bricks and mortar.  But if you yourself are a publican you will be well aware of the troubles there have been.  In the last decade an estimated 10,000 pubs have closed.  The pinch has come from rising duties on the one hand; and on the other, the economies the punters themselves are having to make.  Well, the Chancellor has done his bit to help with the first of these points… perhaps for the second landlords might also make steps themselves, in addressing their own costs, the benefits of which can then be passed on to the punters. To help, this is the first of a series of blogs looking at where savings can be made.  We hope this blog will help spark one of those  “lightbulb” moments because that's precisely what this first blog will look at: lighting your pub. 20% of the energy consumption on this planet comes from lighting, so this is a key area to look at in your business.

Get your staff involved

You will need all the staff onside to make these changes, so perhaps mention the lighting at a staff meeting, and explain how important this push is.  Have a look around the pub and decide what areas need to be constantly lit – for instance kitchens at non-cooking times, and corridors.  Explain to staff that they should only switch on lights that are needed, especially outside opening hours, and only switch on the communal lighting just before opening up (you may find it helpful to properly label the lighting switches so staff can easily see which is which).  Certainly external lighting and signage can be switched off when the pub is closed. Do you have any particularly tall members of staff?  Of course natural light comes free, to keep all the windows and skylights as clean as possible.  Smaller members of staff can help as well!  Lightshades and light diffusers should also be kept clean to ensure efficient use of the light.  On bright days you don’t necessarily need to double up with artificial light.

Energy reducing technology

Use the various technologies that are available to automate your light use.  Think about fitting dimmer switches around the premises, to moderate light use, which might even benefit the overall ambience and atmosphere within the pub.  Also, infrared sensors can manage the lighting in the toilets, to make sure the lights only come on when needed.  Automatic push button switches could also be fitted to cupboards and cellars, which will automatically turn off, in case staff forget.  Outside the pub, daylight detectors can automate the lights so that they only come on when light levels are low (remember to alter the timers to take in the recent change to British Summer Time, when even more savings can be made). When you replace the bulbs, always go for fluorescent, A-rated or LED lighting, all of which is much more energy efficient than conventional lightbulbs.  Some manufactures claim their LED bulbs can last for 60,000 hours.  Finally, nothing is more efficient than a light that is off… so always make sure any unnecessary lights are always turned off.  And when the customers come in… let there be (LED) light! Take these simple measures… add a dash of 2014 budget… and we think you’ll be serving up the kind of cost cocktail your customers will all appreciate!

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