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Scilly guest house saves hundreds on energy bill

A St Mary's guest house owner has made a “huge reduction” on her electricity bill by making a few simple changes.

Victoria Hitchens from Nancherrow on St Mary's said she cut her bill by more than £400 per year after receiving a visit from the Smart Energy Islands Business Support Service, which offers free professional energy efficiency consultancy, building surveys and energy monitoring equipment to businesses on the islands.

VIctoria's usage for the 18 months between December 2016 to March 2017 (101 days) was 7484 kWh, during which she was away for three weeks. After a visit from the Smart Energy Islands team, her usage from December 2017 to March 2018 (again 101 days) fell to 5422 kWh.

She said: "This is a huge reduction on the same quarter of the previous year, largely due to us not using the electric heaters so much but also using the OWL [energy monitor] and monitoring my usage closely and we were all more aware of trying not to waste energy. We did have an exceptionally cold spell too this winter, so it surprised me still seeing such a massive reduction. This means we are saving just over £400 a year!”

After her consultation from the Business Support Service, Victoria changed all her light bulbs to LED, added timers to electric heaters, fitted new heads to the electric showers which use less water but provide better higher pressure, and started using more economical settings on her washing machine. She also found that using the dishwasher on a 29-minute setting once a day was more efficient than washing dishes in the sink, which required switching the immersion on for an hour and a half morning and evening.

She said: “I am still keen to keep reducing our carbon footprint and it’s a great topic of conversation with my visitors around the breakfast table. I honestly think the majority of people are taking more notice now and want to make their own contribution.”

The Smart Energy Islands’ Business Support service has worked with 150 businesses on the islands to help them improve their energy efficiency since March 2017. The free support consists of an energy audit, energy monitor and tablet, analysis of energy use and a bespoke report containing analysis results, recommendations and next steps. Further training and support are provided to help the businesses take action on the advice given.

Business Support Officer Ben Robbins said: "Our professional consultants Anthesis are coming back to the islands during the second half of September, so this is the last chance for you to sign up for this free consultancy to help identify ways that you could reduce your energy consumption and save money.

"We have funding for 50 businesses left and we are now offering those places to businesses in Cornwall. We envisage that the funding will be taken up very quickly. If you would like to take up our offer of free professional consultancy for your isles of Scilly business property please contact me without delay."

Ben can be reached on 07766 603462 and at

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