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London firms face energy audits

logo-bgb.gifAuditors are a bit like dementors from Harry Potter stories – they suck the life and soul out of anyone nearby and turn the air cold.

But this could actually be a move for the better…

British Gas Business is to carry out in-store energy audits with some of London’s best-known retailers – including Hamleys, Fenwick, and Niketown London – to help them cut their power consumption and reduce their carbon footprint.

Findings from the audits, which mark the start of the company’s Green Light energy efficiency campaign, will then be used to encourage the rest of the UK’s retailers to reduce their energy consumption as well.

The campaign has already won high profile backing from the Mayor of London, the Environment Agency, the Energy Saving Trust and the National Energy Foundation.

Full-scale energy audits will be carried out with the campaign supporters throughout July and August to show how much retailers can save by implementing energy saving techniques. The findings will be presented to retail and political stakeholder groups as well as to the national media at a parliamentary reception in November 2007.

Adrian Harvey, commercial director of British Gas Business, said, “In 2005 alone, £12 billion worth of energy was wasted in the UK. For small businesses in particular, this is frightening news as the amount of energy we use continues to rise. With this in mind there is a clear business case to be made: cut down your energy consumption, do your bit for the environment and reduce your bills. Through Green Light, the audit findings will act as an energy efficiency blueprint for the rest of the retail community to follow, sharing tips on reducing energy and the savings that can be made. The case to be green and energy-efficient is even more pressing.”

Research carried out by IPSOS MORI on behalf of British Gas Business shows that over half (59%) of managers responsible for buying energy recognise the need to make their business more energy-efficient, but one third admit they lack the relevant information to do so. On top of this over half of the respondents say they pay more attention to saving energy at home than they do at work. Small businesses also said that nearly 10% of their costs are on energy, highlighting the need to reduce the amount of energy they use.

Harvey continued, “Green Light will fill this knowledge gap. At British Gas Business, we are committed to helping businesses save money and tackle environmental issues. Through Green Light we want to encourage the retail community to adopt a ‘me too’ philosophy. If every business in the UK made a small step toward energy efficiency, the saving would be massive.”

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has pledged his support for Green Light. He said, ‘I would like to add my support to British Gas Business’ Green Light campaign. These energy audits will highlight to retailers in London how they can save energy and money at the same time. Every Londoner and every London business has a part to play in cutting London’s carbon emissions and that starts with becoming as energy efficient as possible.”

Says Nick Mather, CEO of Hamleys: “We have agreed to participate in the Green Light energy audits as we want to lessen the impact that we as a business have on the environment. The findings from the audit will help us do this, while giving others in the business community useful advice on how they can do their bit too.”

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