A west Dorset community has come together to help their local shop become more energy efficient after its bills soared.

Broadwindsor & District Community Stores saw its electricity costs triple last year and the shop's management, staff, volunteers and customers have all played their part in to helping to save on energy.

Everyone involved has felt part of the solution, to not only keep the ten-year-old community shop open, but to also be a central part of the parish, and actively reduce energy consumption, a needed step towards a national goal to reduce energy waste.  

Andrew Hookings, Chairman of Broadwindsor and District Community Stores, said: “After the shock of our June electricity bill, it has been really inspiring to see so many work towards finding solutions for the shop that also help towards a national target of energy efficiency.

"Our staff have been brilliant at making savings, our volunteers have been great at ‘let’s grin and bear it, never mind if I’m a bit cold or hot for a couple of hours', and our customers have been really supportive."

Management members agreed to update the lighting to LED and turned to local electrician Leo Davies, who installed a more efficient system and also switched supplier for a better deal. 

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The new fridge curtains installed in the dairy fridge will help reduce its energy usageThe new fridge curtains installed in the dairy fridge will help reduce its energy usage (Image: Broadwindsor Community Stores)

Staff members now ensure that all electrical appliances are switched off at the plug, including drinks fridges at night.

The soft drinks fridge is still ready for lunch time customers and the wine and beer fridge is ready for after work shoppers as they only switch them on at the times they are most needed.

Volunteers have also been coming in for their two hour slots wearing warmer layers this winter, allowing the store to not have to turn the heating on, just as they got used to a warm space in the summer and resisted turning the air conditioning on.

A couple of customers, Sally and Nick, have also bought ‘fridge curtains’ to put in the dairy fridge which is far more efficient on energy usage, as they help to keep the cold air in.

Mr Hookings added: "We saw what a brilliant community we live in with Covid and the quick efficient steps our community shop took to look after our vulnerable people, so we know what we can achieve when we work together. As for today, a big thank you to one and all, let’s continue.”