That’s the finding of a survey carried out by the Carbon Trust, which found that more than 80 per cent of the SMEs it questioned were taking action on their energy efficiency, although just over half (51 per cent) said that they wanted to do more.

Given that SMEs account for 99 per cent of businesses in the UK, the organisation stressed that it’s vital for them to get on top of this if the government is to meet its target of the UK being net zero on its carbon emissions by 2050.

The research also identified the main benefits SMEs associate with improving their energy efficiency, namely reduced costs and energy consumption, as well as improving the environment.

Installing LED lighting was identified as the top step that SMEs are taking to improve their energy efficiency, with improving their insulation and draught proofing the second most popular step.

If you run a shop, you’ll want to encourage people to come inside and browse. But, of course, if your doors open directly onto the street that means every time someone enters or exits your shop, cold air will rush in. Aside from making your working environment chilly, it will also mean you have to spend more to heat your premises.

There can also be the added problem of customers leaving a door open after entering or exiting. One simple solution to this issue is installing automatic swing doors or automatic sliding doors at your store.

These help you maintain a stable temperature in your store, either through heating in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. They’ll obviously also make it easy for customers to enter and exit your store, and because people aren’t required to touch handles to open them can be a more hygienic option than traditional doors.

According to the Carbon Trust, 60 per cent of SMEs are very or fairly concerned about the amount they spend on energy, an increase on the 46 per cent who cited this concern in its last survey in 2016.

Decreasing their energy consumption is, therefore, a priority for many businesses and could lead to financial savings as well as the obvious environmental benefits.

Although there is a desire among SMEs to improve their energy efficiency, the organisation noted that “we are far from reaching saturation point for the take-up of even the most low cost and straightforward or energy efficiency measures”.

If you haven’t evaluated your business’ energy efficiency recently, this could be the push you need to step back and look at where you could make improvements.

Shop fronts that are predominantly glass, for example, may benefit from installing thermally efficient glazing if that’s not already in place, as well as exploring options around automatic doors and LED lighting.

There is plenty of advice available about how businesses can save energy and become more efficient in this respect. Npower has a host of tips on its site, including making sure that you always turn off equipment that’s not in use.

While many retailers will leave some lights on even when they’re not open, at the very least think about lowering the lighting levels you’re using when you’re not open, or carrying out activities like stock takes or replenishing your products.

If you’re worried that turning the lights off in your store could give intruders an opportunity to break in unnoticed, install occupancy detectors in your store. This will mean that lights come on as soon as someone is detected in the store.

Simply choosing energy efficient light bulbs for your retail space could also save you money. The energy company pointed out that LED lights not only last longer than their more traditional counterparts, but use between 60 and 80 per cent less energy than conventional light sources when they are on.

As we’ve already mentioned, using the likes of automatic doors can help you to keep your store at a comfortable temperature for staff and customers. But make sure you’re doing all you can in this area as Npower revealed that heating accounts for around 40 per cent of energy spend, on average, for retailers.

If it’s possible to have a double set of doors this can help prevent heat from escaping as people enter and exit your store.

Simply thinking about the timing of your heating at your store could save you money too. The energy provider noted that you could “probably turn off your heating or air conditioning an hour before your shop closes without anyone noticing”.

Using a simple timer switch can allow you to set the parameters and adjust them as necessary, without putting the onus on staff to control the heating or cooling of your store.