Supermarket Asda has invested £85m in renewable energy plans… and expects to get a payback on the investment in two years.
Energy is the second biggest area of business risk to the company, coming just behind labour costs.
Robert Simpson, Asda’s head of technical development, told the UK Energy Summit that by 2015, 25% of all the company’s energy will come from renewables, including large wind installations, ground source heat pumps and anaerobic digestion.
He said the store had already targeted “all the low-hanging fruit” but added that more could be done to stimulate energy saving in the retail sector. He said that if the CRC included refrigeration, which it does not at present, it “could save a barrel of cash”, as refrigeration is a huge energy factor for supermarkets.
Last year, Asda opened its first purpose built depot, made from eco-friendly timber and reclaimed brick from a former brownfield site.
Its flagship low-carbon store in Bootle, Liverpool, is built on a timber frame and is made with bricks reclaimed from Liverpool docks.
The lighting is solar-powered, rainwater is used to flush toilets and the roof is grassed to act as insulation and help retain water.
The shop if estimated to save approximately 142 tonnes of CO2 and 349,000 kw hrs of electricity per year.