UK grocer Waitrose has said it will accelerate the deployment of electric heat pumps powered by renewable energy in its shops, in response to rising energy prices.
As part of its net-zero strategy, Waitrose is switching from fossil fuel heating to electric heat pumps which it says are powered by “zero-carbon renewable energy”.
In addition, the retailer will introduce upgraded refrigeration systems across its store estate to allow heat recovery to generate further efficiency. The plan is to have reduced its energy consumption by 25% by 2028, adding that all the electricity it purchases already comes from “zero carbon UK-based renewable energy sources”.
To maximise building efficiency, Waitrose said it is also using ‘air door’ technology throughout its estate, lessening hot and cold air infiltration into buildings which in turn reduces refrigeration, heating, and cooling energy consumption.
The retailer, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership, which itself recently made bigger commitments to helping reduce the impact of its operations on the environment, is also removing hydrofluorocarbons – or HFC – refrigerants. Waitrose said it is switching to water-cooled systems and low global warming potential – or GWP – refrigerants instead.
General work in this area will see Waitrose upgrade its fridges to make them 40% more efficient, while another initiative to convert to LED lighting across all its stores is expected to reduce each shop’s electricity consumption by up to 10%.
Neil Coleman, operations manager for energy & innovation at the John Lewis Partnership, commented: “No business is immune to rising energy costs.
“We’ve already set an ambitious plan to reduce our energy consumption and reach our goal of net zero emissions by 2035. With energy prices rising, we’re accelerating this.”
He added: “We’re focusing on heat recovery solutions and thermal efficiency to help lower the general heating and cooling load of our buildings.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]