Dr Denise Baden from Southampton Business School shares her top 7 ways of saving you money and making your business more energy efficient.

When you’re running a hair salon, you should be looking for any opportunity to improve your efficiency. Salons are considered to be one of the most energy intensive small businesses, with some using over 40,000 kWh each year. As well as the environmental issues related to this, this energy consumption also brings a financial burden with it.

There is no way to completely cut out energy consumption in a salon; there are certain pieces of equipment that are essential and require energy. However, there are positive steps that salon owners can take to reduce their energy consumption. Not only will these make you a more eco-friendly salon, they could also save you money.

With good energy management, it is estimated that salons could make annual savings of 5-25%. However, with some extra work this figure can be much higher.

If you’re looking to improve energy efficiency and cut costs, why not try one of these ideas.

Barber interior

1. Upgrade your lighting

Did you know, your lighting could be accounting for up to 40% of your salon’s electrical usage? Luckily, this is an area where small changes can have big results. By replacing halogen bulbs with eco-friendly LEDs, you could save hundreds of pounds each year, while also improving your salon’s image.

2. Remember to switch your equipment off

There are certain appliances that are essential to your salon – curlers, hair dryers, straighteners and more. However, it’s important that you remember to switch these off when you’re not using them, as leaving them switched on, even leaving them on standby, will waste energy. In fact, over a year, your salon could be losing hundreds of pounds, just by leaving equipment on standby.

3. Turn down your heating

It’s estimated that heating and hot water can account for up to 60% of your total energy usage. By turning the temperature in your salon down by just 1°C, you could reduce your annual heating bill by almost 10%, and it’s unlikely that your customers or staff will even notice the change.

4. Keep an eye on your air conditioning

Regularly using air conditioning can increase your salon’s energy consumption by up to 100%. Consider opening windows or doors instead, especially as good ventilation is a health and safety essential and set limits for when you will use your air conditioning. To save energy, businesses should consider only turning on their air conditioning when the temperature is above 24°C.

5. Keep your boiler well maintained

Without a properly maintained boiler, your salon’s energy consumption could increase by up to 30%. Make sure your boiler is regularly serviced and working efficiently and you could cut up to 10% off your annual heating bill.

6. Appoint ‘energy champions’

Consider appointing ‘energy champions’ in your salon – employees who are given extra responsibilities to make sure you meet your energy saving targets. This could be as simple as designating somebody to make sure all of your lights are switched off at the end of the day.

7. Speak to your business energy provider

If you want to improve energy efficiency in your salon, it’s important to know how much energy you are using, and where you are using it. Some business energy providers can provide automated meter reading devices, which track your energy usage and transmit this information directly to them. This means you know exactly how much energy your salon is using, which can help reduce waste energy and cut costs.

Improve your green credentials by switching to a green energy provider. You can include green credentials when using comparison websites too– green does not always mean more expensive.

Dr Denise Baden - Southampton Business School