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Cardiff Hairdresser Gets Smart About Cutting Energy Use

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A Cardiff hairdressing salon is about to introduce a new type of cut after receiving advice on how to reduce their energy bills. 

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Amaryllis, an eco-friendly salon, is looking forward to making their salon even more sustainable, making savings on their energy bills and improving cash flow after a visit from an energy advisor who provided a range of tips for cutting energy costs – including getting a smart meter.

The salon’s co-owners have already made a number of energy saving measures to their business in keeping with their sustainability policy – they have fitted a condensing boiler, all the lights are LEDs and by using biodegradable paper towels they have cut down the environmental costs involved in washing and drying towels each day.

Despite this, Tiffany Hall and Rebecca Ryce say they sometimes struggle to keep track of how much they spend on energy and to pinpoint which equipment or activities are causing unnecessary waste – and therefore additional costs.

Energy Advisor Eileen O’ Haire from Severn Wye Energy Agency, visited the salon to conduct an energy audit and provided her top tips for the business to cut down energy use:

 

  1. Contact your energy supplier to get a smart meter, to help you keep track of your energy costs, helping you to budget and manage cashflow
  2. To offset the costs and consumption of the A/C, ensure it is not set at too cold a temperature – this could result in the unit overworking
  3. Make sure the central heating boiler is not on at the same time as the A/C
  4. Fit blinds on to the window that gets the most sun to reduce the amount of passive solar coming into the salon
  5. Switch off the lights at the front of the salon when there is full sunlight 
  6. Fit a PIR sensor to automatically turn off the lights in the staffroom and toilets after a set period of time
  7. Fit water diffusers or aerators onto the wash basin hoses to reduce the water flow – this will save money by reducing the amount of hot water being used

 

Commenting on the audit, Tiffany said she was keen for the salon to be as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible.

She said: “I strongly believe in looking after the planet for the next generation so it’s hugely important to me that our salon is as eco-friendly as possible. We offer fully sustainable hair care products, all our bags and stationary are recycled, our coffee and chocolates are locally sourced and we use biodegradable towels.

“I’m always aware, however, that there is more we could be doing to save on energy, so it was great to have the energy advisor come to the salon. Several of the money saving tips she gave are very simple to do. Some we hadn’t considered before, but we’ll now be sure to look into them.

“It was particularly useful to hear about the benefits a smart meter could bring to our business and we’re now keen to have one in place as soon as we can.”

Many small businesses – those with fewer than 10 employees – are eligible for an upgrade to a smart meter from their energy supplier. They provide accurate readings direct to suppliers, bringing an end to estimated bills. They also show customers what they are spending in pounds and pence in near real time, ultimately allowing people to manage their energy costs better.

The Severn Wye Energy Agency is an independent charity and not-for-profit company with a mission to provide practical expertise for more energy efficient and sustainable living.

Eileen O’ Haire added: “Amaryllis is a very impressive example of a small business who take their environmental responsibilities seriously. During my visit I was able to demonstrate even more simple steps they could take to save on energy use and costs, helping them to adhere to their eco-friendly ethos, while also impacting on their bottom line. Many small businesses feel they can’t make energy efficiencies because they think they have to invest lots of money in new equipment to make a dent.

“But with the help of a smart meter it’s easy to identify what is using the most energy, at what times, and take action – big or small – to cut down.”

Fflur Lawton, Head of Policy and Communications Wales at Smart Energy GB, said: “Knowledge is power when it comes to saving energy. It can be hard for small business owners to know where to start when they want to cut their energy costs – especially when they can’t see how much they’re using and at what times.

“Many small businesses are eligible for an upgrade to a smart meter from their energy supplier. With a smart meter you will get accurate bills – no more estimates, and they give small businesses the visibility they need to make changes to the way they use energy.”

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