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Energy Stream: Utobeer prioritises sustainable energy practices

With expert support, Utobeer implements energy-saving measures.


Utobeer is an independent, specialist beer shop offering 700 beers and ciders from around the world. The business started in 1999 as a Borough Market stall, expanding in 2006 with a new bar, the Rake.

Utobeer’s leaders champion environmentally-friendly business practices. “From day one, we’ve had an internal policy to make sure our employees are educated about sustainable energy practices,” says Michael Hill, Utobeer’s co-owner. Utobeer’s procedures seek to minimise energy use, and the business has recycled bottles, glass, and plastic for over 15 years.

Acknowledging the benefits of energy efficiency

Utobeer signed up for the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC) with a view to identifying and understanding how the beverage industry can promote energy efficiency while cutting costs.

“To try and save money in a pub is extremely hard,” Michael Hill explains, “simply because you have machinery that is operating 24/7.”

What was proposed?

Following an audit of Utobeer’s premises, technical experts from Turner & Townsend issued a report containing a selection of recommended energy-saving actions. These included reducing boiler flow temperature for heating; utilising timer controls in the Rake’s patio area during the autumn and winter seasons; upgrading their smart meters; installing a free air-cooling unit to complement the Beer Master cooling system; upgrading their back patio door insulation; and installing LED lighting with intelligent controls, as well as point-of-use water heaters.

Energy-saving actions immediately implemented

Utobeer acted on key recommendations from its BCC audit report as soon as possible as follows:

  • installed LED lighting with intelligent controls;
  • implemented automatic light switches in the central hallways;
  • upgraded insulation for the back patio door and reduced the boiler flow temperature for heating.