Small business makes big change following Glasgow EPB rate structure
If you were to stop by Boutique Unique in Glasgow, one of the first things to greet you would be a sign issuing fair warning.
"It's a little warm in here, because we've had to turn our thermostats up," explained Deborah Alexander, Co-Owner of Boutique Unique.
The change followed the implementation of the new Glasgow Electric Plant Board rate structure, and didn't only mean punching up the thermostat a few degrees. The small business has also cut their lights off during business hours, leaving them to operate in the dark.
"We're a very small business, we're also a very young business, we've only been here two years, and so as I've said, our pockets don't run very deep so we have to do some conserving," said Alexander.
While guests have been understanding of the heat and humidity, Co-Owner Jessica Gilbert told WBKO that kindness hasn't solved all of their problems. The shop does paint work on furniture using a commercial-grade sprayer, but that, too, requires the consumption of electricity.
"We can only paint from the time we're open, or the time we get here which is usually between eight and nine, until 12. So, that cuts out five hours of our working day and not being able to spray," said Gilbert.
If the precautionary measures sound intense, Boutique Unique said that's because the repercussions of not conserving are even greater. When they combined the charges from their upstairs and downstairs meters, their coincident peak charge for a single hour was $100.
"Our last bill was more than double of my bill at home, and this building is smaller than my house," said Alexander.
Gilbert said they are aware of the optional rate the EPB is offering as an alternative structure until the end of September, but she said the price per kilowatt is so high, it wouldn't save them much money as a business.
"I'm hoping that we're going to find a way to conserve energy, and to let everybody use the electricity that they need to use, and let everybody get back to what they were doing, and not limiting laundry times, not limiting business hours, not limiting times that people can use air compressors and sanders and that sort of thing. And also, letting people get back to their normal lives."
We reached out to the Glasgow Electric Plant Board for further comment on the rate structure and their future plans, but they have yet to return our phone call.