One Richmond pub has, however, made the decision to cut its energy use to safeguard its long-term future.

The Crown Pub in Richmond, west London, has been able to slash its power bills by about 30% by having a number of green improvements installed.

Environmental firm Blue Sky Energy Solutions worked with the pub’s landlady Joanna Keegan to turn the Crown into Richmond’s first eco-pub.

Blue Sky Director, Alan Spangler created a energy-saving plan for the business and greened the pub.

His plan included ultra-low-energy LED lighting throughout the entire pub, insulation of the loft and selected walls, rainwater harvesting and turf roofs to resolve a drainage issue and an innovative beer-cooling scheme that exploits the natural chill of cold mains water and cool outside air minimising the use of the compressor.

“The pub is brighter and more comfortable for our customers, our utility bills have reduced significantly, and we continued operating the pub while the energy savings work was undertaken” says Mrs Keegan.

“One very visible feature in the pub is an easy-to-read meter that shows everyone how much energy the pub is using at any time. This has become a focal point for pub staff and customers and helps keep the business aware of its own energy use in real time.”

Mr Spangler added: “Energy efficiency makes economic sense. In this case the pub has significantly reduced its operating cost, will generate a return on the money invested in itself and has reduced carbon emissions by about 15 tonnes per year.

“By investing in energy efficiency, the opportunity exists for the sector to save the amount of energy generated by Drax power station.

“Think about it, we could close Drax and eliminate the biggest single point emitter of nitrous oxide in Europe, and provide a competitive financial return to those businesses choosing to invest.”

Luke Walsh

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