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Identifying energy saving initiatives

The first step to identifying areas for energy savings is measurement.  AMR meters are low cost and allow outlets to monitor energy usage. They not only ensure accurate billing but also help identify high usage areas and times. Alternatively, if you have a smart meter fitted this can also provide helpful energy usage data and show when you are successfully making savings.

Areas for potential simple changes include:


Switch to more efficient LED bulbs and dim the lighting in the evening. Not only does this create ambience, but it also saves electricity


Light switches, line coolers, kitchen extractors and bar fridges can all be fitted with timers to save energy, allowing staff to focus on the day-to-day and customer service. Alternatively, daylight sensors prevent lights being used when the sun’s out, or movement sensors can ensure that lights are switched off when that area is not in use, or your venue is closed. However, prompting staff with signage to turn off lights or, for example, only run the dishwasher when full, can be a cost-effective alternative if everyone plays their part.

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“We started monitoring a restaurant group of 79 locations’ energy use overnight. When really this should be about 5kwH/30 mins, we found some startling numbers. If kitchen extractors are left on, over the course of the week, this can cost you £300“

Alastair Tyson, Project Manager at Zero Carbon Forum

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  • Keep cellar doors closed between visits and ensure cellars are well insulated to prevent the overuse of cooling systems, especially when the weather is warmer.
  • Keep the cellar clear of fridges, freezers and ice machines, which produce heat and affect cellar cooling.
  • Keep track of and improve a cellar’s efficiency by installing a wall-mounted thermometer, regularly topping up cooling equipment with water, checking fans and condensers are free from dust and blockages, and keeping a planned schedule of maintenance to avoid costly breakdowns.
  • Right-size the cellar for your bar and therefore the amount of stock ensures empty spaces aren’t being unnecessarily chilled, which is also an energy drain. This can be as simple as fitting a butchers-style plastic curtain to help reduce the area being chilled. Alternatively, speak with your HEINEKEN representative or SmartDispense® offers a free right-sizing service during install to help increase efficiencies
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“We face the troublesome juxtaposition of trying to be traditional and old and give that old cosy feeling, but also have energy leaking out of many corners. We did undergo a renovation in 2019 - we do have SmartDispense by HEINEKEN, which works wonders, however it is in a very old cellar. So we have spent a lot of time, not too much money, trying to insulate and seal the cellar more, to try and keep the energy in and keep the cellar nice and cold.”

Alex Legret, Director at The Lamb

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SmartDispense® Energy Savings

As an add-on, SmartDispense® CellarManager can cut energy consumption and costs by 36% a year1 – that’s an average 5,221kWH saved and a carbon footprint (CO2e[1]) reduction of 1.11 tonnes per year. Plus, launching in 2023, is SmartDispense® Remote Optimiser. While SmartDispense® CellarManager monitors cellar temperature, Remote Optimiser manages the coolant recirculation temperatures, reducing the energy consumption and costs of each remote cooler by 30-35%[2]

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Switch it off 

  • It may sound simple, but make sure all team members are checking that devices aren’t left on standby. Turn appliances off at the wall where possible.


  • For those pubs who have tenants or live on-site themselves, it’s important to have different meters for domestic and business use, as the government’s new energy plan differs.


  • Simple but thorough maintenance on existing kit – such as making sure seals on fridges, freezers and ovens have not perished – can optimise energy efficiency. 
  • Plan to replace old equipment for modern, energy efficient versions as they approach the end of their lifecycle. HEINEKEN Business Builder offers exclusive savings on equipment, including some of the most energy-efficient fridges and glasswashers on the market.


  • Fit temperature-regulating valves to radiators and foil deflectors behind them to prevent heat leaking into walls.
  • Turn thermostats to a comfortable 20-22°C and keep them out of drafts or direct sunlight to ensure they operate correctly.
  • Longer term, look at investing in a ground source heat pump to heat your venue.


  • Ensure loft spaces are properly insulated as 15% of heat can be lost through the roofUp to 10% of heating is lost through windows, doors and floors, so check external openings and fit draft seals
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[1] CO2e stands for Carbon Dioxide equivalent and is a term used for describing different greenhouse gases in a common unit.

[2] Independent and HEINEKEN Tech Services test results.  This is an average number, as results vary with length of python, cooler type and trading patterns **Based on the .gov business energy rate of 32.7p/Kwh capped until March 2023