Licensee sees energy bill rise by 118%

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Couldn't believe her eyes: Licensee sees electricity bill rocket by 118%  (Credit: Gety/peepo)
Couldn't believe her eyes: Licensee sees electricity bill rocket by 118% (Credit: Gety/peepo)

Related tags: Finance, Energy costs, Electricity

Licensee sees electricity bill soar to more than double, going from an average of £2,700 per month last year to £5,900 in December 2021.

Operator of Five Degrees West in Falmouth, Cornwall, Victoria Hancock, said she “couldn’t believe her eyes" when she saw how much her electricity bill had risen.

Since then, she has implemented motion sensor lights in the pub toilets and kitchen, timers on outdoor heating appliances, and has planned to invest between £6,000 and £10,000 on a more energy efficient pizza oven, one of the pubs biggest energy costs, which is expected to reduce usage by about 35%.

Hancock said: “I’ve only started this, but January's bill was about £900 cheaper and I think we've got more savings to come on that.”

However, as the pub is a Grade II-listed building, there are strict rules to adhere to, such as Listed Building Consent, with regards to energy saving features such as upgrading windows, which makes heating and updating the old building difficult and costly.

Smart switch 

She added: “Those rules are going to have to relax as saving the planet becomes more important than saving a perceived façade.

“We can't do any energy saving, we can do secondary double glazing, but it’s a big old building, we need to be able to replace the ugly windows from the 1970s, possibly even ‘80s.

“They cost me about £1,200 each to be replace sash windows and they had to be something like 80% rotten in order to be able to even discuss replacing them, whereas I could have put in expensive wooden double glazed sash windows, which would have been lovely.”

Another operator who saw his energy bills rise is licensee of the Half Moon and Seven Stars in Preston, Canterbury, Kent Dave Cullen.

After his energy bills began rising to about £800 per month during last year, Cullen changed the pub’s electricity switches to smart switches, which enable him to control which appliances are on and when from his phone and have helped reduce usage by an average of 11 hours a day.

Massive change 

Cullen also recently started turning the pub’s outdoor lights off at 10pm, changed bulbs to LED, and had new gas fryers installed, which cost £1,800.

However, despite his gas bill being slightly higher, the new measures have paid off as the pubs January bill was reduced to around £500.

He said: “I'm annoyed we did not try something like these three or four years ago, or even more.

“If I'd have done this six, seven years ago, I’d have been thousands in front by now. We’ve only done it for past three months, but we've noticed a massive change.”

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