All the shopping malls addressed by Latvian Radio acknowledged that energy-saving measures were already taking place in the summer and that the savings achieved in the first months were significant.
Iveta Priedīte, head of the Spice and Spice Home malls, said that one way to conserve energy resources was to review the air temperature at the centre. Previously, 23 degrees were ensured in malls during the winter.
"But visitors have generally been too hot when they come with a coat on. We're lowering the temperature now and we're sticking to 21 degrees. It is a comfortable temperature for visitors [..]. We are also starting to conserve lighting and have identified areas where we can afford to reduce lighting. We also reduce the lighting during the night or in the parking areas. It gives the result. Every month we see that our consumption against the previous year will be reduced by 20-30%, which is a very significant saving," Priedīte said.
Similarly, the upgrading of the gas heating system has managed to reduce gas consumption by at least 10%. “By adding further temperature regulation, I hope that we will be able to achieve a savings of 20-30% for gas consumption,” Priedīte said.
The Domina mall also saves at the expense of lighting, by significantly reducing it in shared rooms and car parking areas.
“There are also revised lighting time zones – when switched on, we follow how it correlates with the visiting customers. What we see from electricity bills, both in terms of money and consumption, is that it bears fruit. Stores have also spared, for example, unplugging devices when leaving, turning conditioners on less. It all looks as light as it is, but consumption is balanced and revised,” said Dina Bunce, chief executive of Domina.
Anna Avdejeva, head of the mall Sāga, also said that the biggest savings were achieved by reviewing the operation and lighting of the ventilation.
How can austerity measures be aligned with holiday decorations, lights on shop facades, and strings of lightbulbs.
“The mood of people is what it is and the festival is wanted by everyone – we, the buyers, the tenants. For Christmas, we have purchased decorations for the facade, which is LED lighting, energy-efficient in nature. We reviewed outdoor advertising, tenant logo lighting working hours, and car parking hours. We turn them off earlier and turn on the Christmas lights for the front of the center. It improves sentiment a little and people feel festivities. We resolved this in this way,” Avdejeva said, adding that Christmas decorations aren't the cheapest anyway.
This year, festival ornaments also featured malls Spice and Spice Home. “I remember at the beginning of the autumn I thought – do you really want to be a Grinch who will steal Christmas? I am very pleased that, along with the team, we have managed to balance austerity with holiday decorations and not create this Grinch feeling. All the decorations, which are with LED bulbs, we have left – both the decorative lighting of the facade and our great Christmas tree. Yes, some trees are not illuminated as in other years, but the main element, the tree, is in place, with all the deer,” Priedīte said.