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Campaign targets High Street heat loss

The Campaign to Stop High Street Heat Loss is announcing a new petition, designed to push the current government to take urgent measures and pass legislation that insists on shop front doors being kept shut, to prevent further environmental impact.

As the January sales begin, and the Met Office released information that predicts more cold snaps in the second half of January due to a jet stream of icy air from snow-covered parts of the US blasting towards Britain, shops will still be wasting millions of pounds' worth of energy by leaving doors wide open in freezing weather. 

In 2018 a Daily Mail investigation found that eight out of 10 flagship stores on Oxford Street in London either wedged their doors open or had completely open shop fronts.

“Sadly, despite numerous campaigns and appeals to the Government over the past few years, nothing has been done to mandate a change, and little has changed in the way of how shops operate. There are those who have chosen to buck the trend, Boots, Marks & Spencer and Waterstones, plus others, have made the decision to, keep their doors closed. But if you walk down any high street today, you will see that most shops – from big chains to small independent retailers still keep their doors wide open. And the reason shops won’t generally shut their doors are simple - one, because they are afraid their customers will go elsewhere, thinking the shop isn't open. And two, they daren't make the first move for fear they will lose business to their competitors who keep their doors open,' said David Bennett, chairman of The Campaign to Stop High Street Heat Loss.

Research from Cambridge University in 2010 revealed that shops that kept their doors open consumed twice as much electricity as those that did not. Put another way, shops that shut their doors could save up to 10 tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of three return flights from London to Hong Kong - and cut their energy bills in half. And if all retailers followed suit, the country’s overall energy usage could drop by 2.5 per cent.

When the Cambridge University study took place, the practice of keeping doors open no matter the weather was thought to cost retailers £1billion a year. With the current energy crisis meaning that energy prices are now around 3.5x higher than they were in 2010, the overall figure is likely to be close to £3.5billion for 2023. 

Put very simply – shops can save up to 54% of their overall energy expenditure just by keeping their doors closed. But most are not willing to make that change.

The team behind the campaign argues that without legislation this problem is not going to be solved; instead of waiting for people to make the first move?—?they state that the Government must make regulations that stipulate that all shops must keep their doors close by law – because if all shops have to keep their doors closed by law, then no one retailer should think they are at a disadvantage, and everyone benefits.

For this reason, The Campaign to Stop High Street Heat Loss is launching a new government petition, designed to push the current government to take urgent measures and pass legislation that insists on doors being kept shut. 

After 10,000 signatures, petitions get a response from the government. After 100,000 signatures, petitions are considered for debate in Parliament.

See the petition here

2 January 2023


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