During the site visit of Harlees’ shop, Low Carbon Dorset were also able to recommend some basic, relatively low-cost, measures that could help improve the energy efficiency of the shop.
One recommendation was to fit a seven-day timer switch on the shop’s drink display fridges. The items in these fridges do not need to be kept cold all the time they just need to be chilled during shop opening hours. However, to make sure they had cold drinks available, Harlees were running these fridges around the clock. By fitting a timer switch they were able to set the fridges to come on one hour before the shop opens and turn off half an hour before closing. This way chilled drinks were always available to customers, but they weren’t powering fridges unnecessarily. Harlees have since rolled out timers at all their locations.
For the walk-in fridges that are required to run 24 hours a day, it was recommended that Harlees install endocube type devices. These are simple devices that consist of a plastic casing containing a blob of wax that clamps around the temperature probe and stops it reacting to the small inrush of warm air that occurs when fridge doors are opened. As a result, the fridge will work more efficiently and save energy.
Another simple step recommended to Harlees to reduce energy use was to insulate their hot water pipes. This relatively cheap measure can lead to savings, minimise heat loss, and reduce the heat in the kitchen during summer months when the boiler is running to provide hot water.