Following predictions of severe temperature drops and a spare capacity of just 1.5% in National Grid energy reserves, GEZE UK is urging retailers, architects and specifiers to consider the environmental and financial impact of keeping shop doors open when specifying entrance systems.
Independent research by the Close The Door Campaign, of which GEZE is a sponsor, found that retailers could reduce their winter energy consumption by between 30 and 50 per cent by simply shutting their doors when the heating is on.
The retail sector consumed £3.2bn of energy in 2013 and as an industry has the second highest energy consumption in the UK. Research by Cambridge University commissioned by the Close The Door campaign showed that keeping a door open and using air curtains and additional heating significantly increased energy usage, driving up CO2 emissions - figures that were dramatically reduced simply by closing the shop door. An open door also makes it impossible to maintain accepted guidelines for a healthy working temperature for staff.
While shutting the door drives down energy use, Kaz Spiewakowski, managing director of GEZE UK explained that specifying the right door will help to contribute to energy efficiency. He said: “By considering the environmental benefits of ‘shutting the door’ during the initial specification process, retailers, architects and specifiers can create an attractive welcoming entrance that offers maximum energy efficiency.
“There are a wide range of sliding, swing and revolving automatic doors available to suit every application. Activation products such as unidirectional radar sensors ensure automatic doors are only open when a user approaches, closing again as they depart, which reduces 'hold open' time by 40 per cent. What’s more automatic doors allow shoppers to enter and exit a store without needing to break stride, juggle shopping or let go of a trolley.
“Ultimately, for retail environments you need to specify an automatic door system that will open and close efficiently, maximise footfall and minimise heat loss or gain.”
The need to reduce energy consumption is particularly important this year. In November, the National Grid appealed for more powerfor the first time in three years, whilst energy regulator Ofgem has warned that without action the grid’s spare capacity could fall to zero. At the same time, the MET Office has predicted temperatures as low as -14C in January.
Jeannie Dawkins, founder of the Close The Door campaign said: “I founded the campaign after seeing the heat from open shop doors melting ice and snow on the street. It defies common sense - you wouldn’t turn on the heating and leave doors and windows open at home, so why do so many businesses do it?
“Independent research found that closing the door makes a huge impact. It reduces energy use and cuts a shop’s CO2 emissions by up to 10 tonnes per annum for heating days alone, the equivalent of three return flights from London to Hong Kong.
“But it’s not just about the environment, closing the door makes good business sense too. It lowers winter fuel bills, making shops more profitable and reduces shop lifting. Our research also found that there was no evidence that shutting the door led to a reduction in footfall, one of the most common concerns raised by retailers when defending their open door policies. . There are now thousands of shops of all types and sizes across the UK trading successfully with the door closed – none of which would be doing so if this adversely affected profit.”