Did you know that hair salons are one of the biggest energy users of all small businesses? By saving energy you can also save money, and demonstrate to clients that you are an eco-friendly hair or beauty business. We asked Dr Denise Baden of Southampton Business School for some expert energy efficiency advice.

This blog post covers: 

 Taking positive action to save energy

“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,” says Denise.

“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.”

Upgrade your salon or barbershop lighting

Lighting can account for up to 40% of a salon’s electrical use, explains Denise. “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.”

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Switch off your salon and barbershop equipment

Always switch off equipment such as curlers, hairdryers and straighteners when they’re not being used, advises Denise.

“Leaving them switched on, even leaving them on standby, will waste energy,” she says. “In fact, over a year, your salon could be losing hundreds of pounds just by leaving equipment on standby.”

Hair tools

Turn down the heating in your salon

Heating and hot water can account for up to 60% of your total energy use, says Denise. “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.”

Be careful with air conditioning

Air conditioning can increase your salon’s energy consumption by up to 100%. If possible, open doors and windows instead and only use the air conditioning when the temperature is above 24°C.

Maintain your boiler

A boiler that’s not regularly maintained could increase your energy consumption by up to 30%. If your boiler is regularly serviced and working efficiently, you could cut up to 10% off your annual heating bill.

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Appoint ‘energy champions’

It’s a good idea to appoint ‘energy champions’ in your salon. This needn’t be anything complicated – for example, you can simply ask particular members of staff to make sure equipment and lights are turned off at the end of the day.

Barber lights

Getting the best deal

"With only 20% of small businesses in the UK actively engaging in switching their energy contracts, there are a large number of salons potentially overpaying for their energy, especially considering their high energy use," says NHF Trade Member Make It Cheaper. "By having the conversation with suppliers, there are various ways to cut costs and improve energy efficiency." 

Ask Make It Cheaper to have the conversation for you. 

You may also want to consider changing to a green energy provider to improve your green credentials.

NHF Member Anne Veck: case study

Anne Veck’s Oxford hairdressing salon won the NHF’s Best Environmentally Friendly Business award 2017 and Hair Magazine’s Best Green Salon Award 2017.


Anne Veck

Anne’s innovative approach to energy efficiency includes the introduction of ground-breaking environment-friendly measures. Initiatives include LED energy efficient lighting; recyclable Easydry towels to reduce the amount of hot water used in washing; and larger windows to increase natural light and reduce energy use.

More recently, the salon has moved its broadband and telephone services to a local supplier, STL Communications, whose ‘green minutes’ are carbon-neutral. In addition, its printing is done by the award-winning Seacourt Ltd, one of the top three environmental printers worldwide. Seacroft uses carbon positive systems with waterless technology. 

 Says Anne: “We have communicated our green message to our clients in the salon with posters and fact sheets and by educating the team to explain the main features to them. We post information regularly on Facebook, Twitter and our blog. Clients are really interested and, we hope, inspired to take action themselves.”

 Find out more about Anne’s approach to protecting the environment and saving energy.




  • Instal energy efficient lighting.
  • Switch off equipment when not in use.
  • Turn down your heating by 1°C.
  • Minimise use of your air conditioning.
  • Maintain your boiler on a regular basis.
  • Appoint energy champions.
  • Make sure you’re getting the best deal from your supplier or shop around.

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