Norwich bar switches off electricity in favour of candlelight to beat soaring energy bills

  • Natalie Gray chats to the owner Gregory Williams

A bar owner is to switch off his electricity for the next four months - serving customers by candlelight and giving them blankets to keep warm in response to sky-rocketing energy costs.

Gregory Williams, runs the Victorian-themed bar, Arboretum in St Benedicts Street in Norwich, is planning to step back in time by switching off his electricity for four months.

He hopes the move will save him thousands of pounds.

"Everybody is very fatigued," he said.

Candles will be placed around the bar rather than switching on electricity. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We had the lockdowns and tried to adapt through that - now there's the cost of energy and the stock we had to get in. Prices are high so we have to adapt.

"We're having gramophones instead of our music system; candles everywhere.

"We've also got a little wind-up card machine to keep it all as minimal cost but as traditional as possible."

Customers will be able to warm their hands on terracotta pots placed on top of candles. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The beer will be served apparently as it should be, at room temperature.

The plan is that an air raid siren will go off at 7.30pm on Tuesday to mark the start of the switch off.

The bar's move comes after months of businesses warning that the soaring cost of energy is unsustainable.

Last week the government announced a package of measures in which energy bills for all UK businesses, charities and public sector bodies would be cut.

The new Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide a discount to all firms for six months from 1 October.

Wholesale energy costs will be capped at "less than half" for all non-domestic customers under the scheme, in a bid to protect them from soaring prices so they are "able to get through the winter".

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