Retailers are hopeful that the government’s new Green Deal will help them become more energy efficient and reduce bills.

The deal allows businesses to make energy saving improvements then repay the costs over time via their energy bills, which should have reduced as a result of the efficiencies.

Under a new ‘Golden Rule’, a business’ repayments should always be less than the savings being made.

Businesses can sign up to a Green Deal from January 28 2013, but energy assessments can be carried out immediately to determine the work needed. These should be carried out by accredited Green Deal Assessors, a list of whom can be found on

“The Green Deal will allow small businesses to improve energy efficiency, and ultimately their bottom line,” a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change told Convenience Store. “Cheaper heating and lighting bills, coupled with less draughty premises, mean lower operating costs. There is a real opportunity for small businesses to benefit from the Green Deal and save energy and money.”

Independent retailer Jonathan James welcomed the initiative. “A key issue for retailers investing in green efficiency is the upfront cost. If retailers can qualify easily for the Green Deal and the funds go towards energy efficient equipment then it has to be good, as long as there are not too many hoops to jump through to qualify,” he said. “Energy Bills are only going to go up so anything that helps keep them down has to be good.”