Pubs Energy Guide

Pubs: An Energy Guide

When running a pub, ensuring a welcoming environment is key, so it comes as no surprise that utility costs are one if the biggest outlays in the sector.

Despite this, there is still confusion over issues surrounding energy for pubs. Who is responsible to managing the energy – brewery or landlord? Are there specific tariffs available for pubs? What should you do if your pub has a low credit rating?

In this piece we’ll answer them all whilst offering advice on your energy strategy and making savings.

Is the energy my responsibility if we’re owned by a brewery?

If you are responsible for paying the energy bills for the pub then it is your responsibility to arrange the contracts for the premises. In fact, if you risk not taking responsibility for agreeing contracts you could fall victim to expensive out-of-contract rates.

We have a low credit rating, does this matter?

Because of the industry you operate in, you are already on the back pedal with regards to your credit rating. Some industries are considered to carry more of a financial risk than others, with pubs coming under that criteria.

Energy suppliers must determine whether you are going to be a reliable customer in order to be assured you will pay your bills on time. If not, proceedings involving recovery of money owed could occur, costing the supplier time and resource.

Therefore, if the pub is found to have a poor credit rating then options with regards to suppliers and contracts can be limited.

What type of contract is best for a pub with low credit?

If you are having issues with credit, there are low-credit specific tariffs offered by some suppliers whilst other suppliers will offer you a regular contract with additional criteria involved.

Often if you fall within the low-credit category, you will be charged a premium by your supplier. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit before they agree to supply your energy, and with low credit, you must agree to pay by direct debit. This is deemed to be necessary to cover the level of risk you carry.

If you intend on making changes to improve your credit rating in the short term, it’s important that you do not commit to a long-term contract while your rating is considered low. The maximum term you should agree to should be one year. That way, you can take steps to improving your rating and look to procure a more cost-effective contract.

Is there any regulation I should be aware of?

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force in 2018, meaning that landlords can no longer let a property if their energy performance rating is an ‘F’ or a ‘G’. The aim of the regulation is to improve energy efficiency standards.

If you want to check your pub is up to date with all the relevant regulations, give us a call or an email for an answer.

Is the cost of improving energy efficiency worth the investment?

Although there can often be an outlay involved when installing energy efficiency measures, the long-term return of investment far outweighs the initial cost.

The simplest way of reducing both cost and your carbon output would be to simply use less. However, if you don’t have insight into how and when energy is being used in the pub, you will be unable to introduce measures to improve efficiency. Through the installation of monitoring software, you’ll gain visibility into the pub’s consumption.

You will also be able to see if any energy is being wasted. For example, if there is a spike in energy use outside of open hours, it’s safe to assume that there is an issue. Once identified you can put measures in place to rectify the problem and ensure the pub is operating at maximum efficiency going forward.

The pub is only small, will any efficiency changes make a difference?

Through improvements to things such as lighting, insulation and heating systems you will see a noticeable difference to your bottom line.

Not only would you achieve cost savings as a result of improving energy efficiency, but you would also be contributing towards improving your environmental impact.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.