Baby It's Cold Outside
Britain’s growing café culture and taste for alfresco drinking and dining may be under threat from MEPs who want to ban the patio heater.
A vote in Brussels today is expected to call on the European Commission to abolish the heaters to help to tackle climate change. Such a move could cost the pub and catering trade dear.
Pubs spent about £85 million on patio heaters after the smoking ban was introduced last year. Besides forcing smokers into the cold there is concern that a ban on patio heaters could bring a significant cash loss to pubs, cafés and restaurants.
The hospitality industry has estimated that if only 10 per cent of Britain’s pubs offered outdoor facilities a ban could cost £250 million a year...
Using government figures patio heaters accounted for 22,200 tonnes of CO2 , 0.002 per cent of total emissions in Britain.
Philip Sellwood, chief executive of The Energy Savings Trust, said it was not good enough to wait for the rest of Europe. “We need UK action now. ... We know that a third of pubgoers are choosing pubs where there is a patio heater, but why not just wrap up warm instead if you need to go outside?”