Sainsbury’s to cut energy costs with new intelligent building

Retail giant will start using a smart-grid system at Kent store on Wednesday as part of another green initiative to cut carbon emissions.

Online PR News – 22-February-2011 – – Sainsbury’s will start testing a smart-grid system at its new Hythe store in Kent on Wednesday, in an attempt to cut its carbon emissions and reliance on the grid at times of peak demand. The company said the smart grid system technology was a potential solution to the peaks and drain of energy demand that cannot always be met by renewable sources if the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

The retail giant said that when energy demand spikes the smart-grid system will activate the store's on-site generator, which runs on waste oil and fat from Sainsbury's outlets, reducing demand from the grid.

According to Sainsbury's property director, Neil Sachdev, to ensure that both consumers and businesses have enough electricity at all times, power stations are kept on stand-by, ready to come into action when required. The trouble with that is that two-thirds of the UK's stand by power comes from high-carbon-emitting, non-renewable sources.

Sachdev said "By introducing this technology, we will cut the UK's dependence on fossil fuel, reduce our own energy costs and reduce our carbon emissions," and he added "We are absolutely committed to introducing experimental carbon-reducing innovations."

Additional, technology in the store will reduce strain on the grid further by deactivating or reducing the store's heating, ventilation and lighting systems at peak times.

Sainsbury's has kicked-off a number of green initiatives in recent months as part of its goal of cutting carbon emissions 25% by 2012. For example, the company has been installing on-site micro-generation at several stores, as well as selling solar panels, and has also investigated heating and cooling stores using geothermal energy.