Retailers across the country face rocketing bills following steep hikes in their summer energy bills.
According to new Met Office statistics, the summer of 2013 was the warmest, driest and sunniest since 2006. But while the hot weather saw many stores bag extra sales, chillers and air conditioning units were placed under greater than average levels of strain, resulting in much higher electricity bills.
“A 5˚C increase in ambient air temperature will decrease a fridge’s efficiency by 35%,” Mark Crabtree, retail director of electricity reduction company Enviroglow told Convenience Store.
“While this summer has been great for sales, retailers are now being hit with huge energy bills, many as much as 30% higher than last year,” he explained.
Independent retailer Vic Grewal said he had seen a 15% jump in electricity bills for his Chorleywood Budgens store in Hertfordshire.
“Unlike my Simply Fresh store in Thames Ditton, Surrey, I don’t have doors on the chillers in Chorleywood and this meant that they had to work extra hard to maintain their correct temperatures during the heat,” he said.
Sylvia Winter of Creaton Post Office in Northamptonshire said she was “dreading” her next energy bill.
“The store’s air-conditioning was working at full pelt almost every day throughout the summer. We had no choice as our ceilings are very low and if we hadn’t used the air-con the chocolate would have melted. We did re-neogotiate our energy contract last year so at least we’ll be getting a better deal,” she added.
However, John Perrett of Hunnyhill Spar Group on the Isle of Wight said he wouldn’t begrudge his higher bills too much. “All of our stores are heavily dependent on chillers and this summer was no exception as sales of soft drinks, white wine and ice cream went through the roof. I expect my energy usage to be much higher than last year, but I’m not going to complain as the summer was so fantastic.”