Thursday, 28 January 2010

Close the Door!

Close the Door is a Cambridge-based group that campaigns for shops to, as the name suggests, keep their doors closed to save energy. Many shops operate an 'open door' policy as they feel it is more welcoming for their customers. However during particularly hot or cold weather keeping the shop at a comfortable temperature with the doors open can lead to enormous energy waste.

Research by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution shows that retailers use almost double the amount of energy annually per square metre that factories and offices do, with retailers using on average 460 kilowatt hours (kWh) in comparison to only 292 kWh for factories and 252 kWh for commercial offices.

Making matters worse many retailers are in fact over-heating their premises. 18°C is the ideal shopping temperature, as recommended by the Chartered Institute for Building Services Engineers, but Make It Cheaper found that the average temperature in shops on London’s Oxford Street was a staggering 23.6°C. The research conducted in the freezing temperatures of December last year found that only 6 out of 100 shops surveyed had their doors closed in spite of the freezing weather.

AlertMe is being used to conduct some scientific research by Close the Door on the effects of leaving shop doors open. The research aims to identify just how much energy is wasted and how much extra money it costs to heat (or cool) a shop with the doors open compared with keeping them closed. The experiment began this month with two shops in Cambridge and we look forward to sharing the results with you soon.

Read more about the impact of closing the door and retailers can sign up for the Close the Door campaign now.