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Top Energy Saving Tips from Green Tourism

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At Green Tourism we are kicking off the new year with a campaign to tackle one of the most serious global issues of our time: the ever-increasing level of carbon emissions worldwide.  The facts are chilling, because despite greater awareness and some legislation, carbon emissions have been steadily rising since 2016.

Below are a few tips to help you reduce your Carbon Footprint, Save Energy, Save Money and most importantly HELP SAVE OUR PLANET!


  • Set up a maintenance plan and annual service contracts to make sure all your appliances are working at their most efficient levels.
  • Change all your lights to LED. The technology has advanced significantly in the last few years so there are now all kinds of bulbs and tubes available. LED can use up to 90% less energy, and the running costs of the equivalent incandescent or halogen versions are considerably less.
  • Use a lighting calculator to work out how much all your bulbs are using and find the cost and electricity saving for making changes.
  • Avoid switching lights on until you really need to. Go for lighter colour schemes in areas with minimal light. Ensure your windows are free from grime to maximise natural light.
  • Look for PIR (Passive InfraRed) occupancy sensors or time controls to avoid lights and other equipment being left on unnecessarily.
  • Check your fridge and freezer temperatures. Usually a fridge should be set at 4c and a freezer -18c to balance energy efficiency with health and safety compliance.
  • Utilise smart energy controls to check and record fridge and freezer temperatures ensuring compliance and energy efficiency e.g.
  • For larger businesses a Building Energy Management System (BMS or BEMS) could be installed to help control heating, hot water, AC, fans etc. This can be programmable for functions and throughout the day enabling huge savings to be made if managed effectively and with proper training.
  • Make sure your fridges and freezers are full to maximise the benefits. In the off season look to scale down your fridges, turning off any that are unnecessary.
  • Smaller businesses should look at installing a smart thermostat such as Nest or Hive. Heating can be programmed and controlled remotely, through WiFi, while the system learns habits in the room and can turn off/on as necessary resulting in savings in energy use and therefore cost.
  • It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s electricity is being used to drive motors and pumps – and most of these aren’t all that efficient! If yours is a bigger business, you could conduct a survey of this equipment and look to change to more efficient alternatives with an inverter (also known as a variable frequency/speed drive. These can reduce the motor/pump speed so it’s not constantly operating at 100%.
  • Check for draughts. More often than not the cold temperature of a building (particularly in an older property) is caused by draughts and heat escaping. If you have shutters on the windows and thick curtains or ‘sausage dog’ draught excluders, make sure everyone is aware of them and how to use them. A thermal survey might be a good way to seek out heat loss areas (though these can cost upward of £300 so are normally used in larger or historic properties).
  • Upgrade the insulation in your roof space and walls. Regulations have changed over the years and the recommended depth for rockwool in a loft space is 270mm.
  • Investigate renewable electricity solutions such as solar photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine or micro hydro scheme. If your premises has plenty of sun, wind or water this could be very favourable in the long term and means you will need to buy in less from the grid.   It’s worth knowing however, that at the end of March 2019 the Government is ending the Feed in tariff (FIT) associated with renewable energy production.
  • Investigate renewable energy for your business. Solar water heating, biomass and heat pumps can bring greener heating to your business reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels. The Government Renewable Heat Incentive is available in England, Scotland or Wales for equipment installed after 2009
  • Ensure your staff are aware of the potential of energy saving. Initiate a ‘switch off’ campaign so that switching off lighting, computer and electrical equipment that is not needed at the end of a shift becomes second nature to everyone. Competitions across different business departments and reward incentives can be a fun way to get the message across and help with maintaining savings.
  • Review your energy use regularly: check bills, take regular meter readings and analyse against occupancy or other business performance indicators. Setting targets for reduction can help inspire further progress and savings. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
  • Turn down your thermostat by 1 degree Celsius. Most people won’t notice the change but it’s an easy way to achieve an energy save of up to 8%.
  • When the time comes for appliance replacement, try to invest in the most energy efficient versions: (A+++) for domestic models or for commercial units check out those named on the Government energy technology resource list.
  • Look to zone your lighting where possible, switching off areas when not in use. This is useful for offices, events venues, meeting spaces etc.
  • Fit a water efficient shower head and aerator taps. Reducing hot water use will also save on energy for heating.
  • Have a shutdown policy (great for hotels, event venues, visitor attractions) for lighting and equipment at the end of a shift or event – to make sure everything that can be switched off, IS switched off.
  • Try to dry towels, sheets and clothing outside. Unlike tumble drying, using a outdoor washing line is free and gives your fabrics a good airing. If wet weather is a problem, consider a Sheiling dryer
  • For external lighting, consider timers and/or a dusk-till-dawn setting to make sure lights are off in daylight hours. Reducing light pollution is great for wildlife and for stargazing!
  • Consider a green electricity supplier that only deals in renewable power. Ecotricity is the first Green Tourism Affiliate in this sector.
  • Ask your staff for green ideas on saving energy. A different point of view might identify great savings potential and will engage your team in the quest for sustainability.
  • Make sure your hot water tank and pipework is well lagged. That way you won’t be losing heat as soon as it’s made, making it cheaper to heat your building.  You might also be able to turn the hot water temperature down by a few degrees.
  • Identify and use the ‘Eco’ settings on washing machines and dishwashers for the most effective and cheapest wash/spin cycle.
  • Don’t boil a full kettle if you only need enough for one or two cups. Consider buying an eco-kettle with a temperature control and visible water line.


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✓  Answer a series of questions from the Green Tourism assessment criteria
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