Pubcos go green to cut spiralling energy costs

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Environment Environmentalism

Pub companies are "going green" to cut soaring energy costs and help the environment. Following the recent massive hikes in utilities costs,...

Pub companies are "going green" to cut soaring energy costs and help the environment.

Following the recent massive hikes in utilities costs, operators have been urgently looking at ways to conserve energy across their estates.

The drive to become more environmentally friendly comes as new Conservative leader David Cameron pushes green issues higher up the political agenda by making them a central part of the local election campaign.

Managed operator Mitchells & Butlers has installed meters for recording gas and water use at a handful of its pubs. Readings are taken every half hour, so M&B can pinpoint where to focus on reducing usage.

The company hopes to roll out the meters across its estate. The same technology is now used for monitoring electricity use at every M&B site, following a trial last year.

M&B has also asked its waste collection provider to recycle glass and cardboard at its sites in areas where the facilities exist. And meetings are planned to advise M&B managers on the best ways to conserve energy.

Alex Salussolia, managing director of Glendola Leisure, is planning a full review of energy across the company's 16 sites.

He said: "We've been doing a bit of work in terms of raising awareness with managers. It's simple things like adjusting the thermostat and lowering the wattage of bulbs."

Salussolia expects utility costs to rise between 30% and 50% over the next year to 18 months. "It's another part of the business we have to manage," he said.

Paul Wigham, boss of Kent-based managed operator Bar Group, said he plans to seek advice from the Carbon Trust, the Government-funded body that advises businesses on saving energy.

Wigham is considering using passive sensors for lights in the toilets, so they will only be activated when someone enters.

Massive Pub Company managing director Peter Linacre said the firm's pub managers are being advised to take simple steps to save energy, such as switching off lights and ovens when they are not being used.

Last year Massive's utility costs rose by 50% - and this year Linacre expects a 25% rise. "It's bloody difficult but we've got to do something or costs will continue to go up," he said.

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