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Retail energy savings

From identifying new energy saving opportunities, to providing financial support and technical expertise, we’re here to help you slash your energy costs and grow a greener business.

Energy is a significant cost for any business. For retailers, managing energy costs effectively is often a key success factor – and finding energy efficiency improvements can be a big boost to the bottom line.  Successful retailers take energy management seriously and have done so for many years. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t energy efficiency improvements that can still be made.

Our team of advisors find considerable annual savings for the retailers that we advise. Please get in touch if you’d like a free support for your business.

Helping to meet customer demands

The trend towards greener living means that shoppers are seeking out retailers who support their lifestyle and share their values. Also, a third of consumers seek out brands based on their social and environmental impact. Going green makes good business sense and helps protect the environment by reducing your carbon impact. That’s never been more important than now as we all look to play our part in addressing the climate emergency.

Three key areas for retailers to cut energy use and save money


Lighting can account for as much as 20% of total energy bills in retail – even more, if there are evening shifts.  Luckily, the future for lighting technology is bright with continual improvements to newer, more energy efficient lighting products coming to market.

If you are looking for some bright ideas for saving energy with your lighting, our guide provides a host of case studies and throws some light on quick, easy solutions.


It’s official that the last decade was the hottest on record. Optimal heating not only provides a comfortable environment for customers and staff, but it also ensures that sales and productivity levels are not affected by seasons or outdoor temperatures.

Did you know that heating can burn up half your energy bill? Take back control by reading our guide on how to save money and energy on heating your workplace.


Grocers, convenience stores, supermarkets, butchers and bakers rely on refrigeration. For some, this will represent their single biggest energy cost. While upgrading to modern, energy efficient systems will help save energy and money, there are things you can do to make the most of the equipment you have right now – and give rising energy bills the cold shoulder.

Retailer case studies

We have supported many retailers with free energy assessments to help them identify ways to reduce their energy bill, and carbon footprint. Here are a few examples:

  • BookSource took better advantage of daylight ceiling panels and capitalised on the latest high bay lighting technology to substantially reduce energy costs by over £16,000;
  • By purchasing an air source heat pump and new refrigeration units, the Day-Today store is now set to save over £3,000 a year on energy costs;
  • Wholesaler Bar One Clothing used the SME loan to install rubber seal strip curtains and new LED lighting, saving £1,900 and 9.5tonnes of carbon emissions a year;
  • A showcase project, the Scotmid Co-operative Moredun store in Edinburgh was one of the first and most innovative major resource efficiency retrofits in the UK;
  • Growing business Thistle Help took advantage of the Scottish Government’s SME Loan to upgrade its lighting and installed a new energy-efficient central heating system.

Popular energy efficiency projects in convenience retail are lighting, refrigeration and ventilation. Here are some examples:

  • MC Stores in Girvan saved £3,000 per annum;
  • Village Store cut energy costs by £2,000 a year and carbon by 4.5 tonnes;
  • Co-Chomunn na Hearadh (Harris Community Shop) on the Isle of Harris invested in high-efficiency refrigerated display cabinets, reducing energy use by around 40% and saving £3,750 per year;
  • Goldenacre Mini Market reduced annual energy costs by 30%, saving almost £1,800 each year, by upgrading refrigeration and lighting.

Regulatory information

  • Scotland will be the first country in the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. Consumers will pay a 20p deposit on single-use drinks containers, which they’ll get back when they return the empty bottle or can to be recycled. All retailers that sell drinks will have a legal requirement to accept returns of empty drinks containers for recycling. We’ve created a guide for retailers about the deposit return scheme;
  • The Waste (Scotland) Regulations have been in effect for a few years and will affect your business, no matter its size;
  • The Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) Regulations requires all retailers to charge a minimum of 5p for every single-use carrier bag.  All retailers, large or small are encouraged to sign up to the Carrier Bag Commitment. The voluntary agreement asks retailers to commit to donating proceeds of the charge to good causes in Scotland, particularly ones which benefit the environment; and to record the number of bags sold and how the money was used through a central portal.

Free and impartial support

Business Energy Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to provide free, impartial support and access to funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises save energy, carbon and money

Whether you are just starting out on your energy-saving journey and need some pointers or are looking for expertise and funding to support your current plans, our team of experienced business advisors and energy-saving consultants are here to help. Get in touch today.