Climate Week Best Campaign 2012

Mistake highlights exceptions to the Close the Door rule

postcard_2014.jpgJojo and Pete's is a great deli/coffee shop on Oxford's North Parade. They sell fresh produce so they decided to do the most sensible thing and create a giant larder for their shop. They use no heating and wrap themselves well against the cold, creating the best environment for what they sell - including cheeses. This is all part of a great model in which they use local, organic growers and a micro dairy to reduce food miles, and compost all their food waste to use on their herb garden. They have been trading for 15 months and their energy bills are actually lower in the winter as the fridges in the shop are not having to work as hard. So keeping the door open and using natural ventilation in this context actually saves them energy and makes perfect sense. It's well worth a visit if you are nearby.

Imagine the consternation when the shop is misreported for wasting energy and flagged up. The last thing any retailer needs is a knock, especially when it is undeserved. So, the lesson is that it is always important to check if the heating is on in a shop with the door open in the winter, before assuming the worst. Every rule of thumb has exceptions. Produce, chocolate and flower shops frequently do not use heating at all. A quick check and a friendly word with the manager/staff is all that's needed to gain the real picture.