British Gas is promising to shave hundreds of pounds off its business customers’ energy bills with the rollout of a new scheme.

Stores that sign up to its free Business Energy Insight scheme will be fitted with a smart meter, and access to an online dashboard where usage is displayed in half hour, daily, or weekly chunks. Readings are also given in pounds, rather than in kilowatts, making it easier for retailers to instantly see where they are spending and how much.

Account managers, who have been trained in convenience store energy usage, are also on hand at any time to discuss and explain the readings, and offer hints and tips.

Independent retailer Douglas Fawcett-Brown was one of the first to deploy the scheme at his Costcutter store in Southport last month.

He expects it to shave 25% off his energy bills in the first year alone.

“My energy bills are currently around £10,000 a year and constitute one of my biggest overheads. It’s early days yet but I’m hoping that this new system could help me to save around £200 a month which would be a huge help,” Douglas told Convenience Store.

“I’ve already learned some really interesting things about my energy usage, and was particularly surprised by how much of it is taken up by lighting the store in the day. I’m now planning to install some more energy efficient lighting solutions, and will probably put timers in the back room areas. The Business Energy Insight scheme will help me here too as its website contains loads of information on systems and has recommended suppliers. It’s like a one stop shop.”

“Businesses don’t always feel comfortable with reducing their energy usage, our aim is to support them in doing so but without being patronising,” British Gas Businesses head of consultancy Angie Needle added. 

A recent survey by the Carbon Trust found that many small businesses were spending 20% more than they needed to on their energy bills as a result of inefficient energy measures.

For more information visit British Gas