Bluewater ‘to halve energy bills’

Usually it’s the fashionistas we expect to shop ’til they drop at Bluewater – but now the shopping centre is getting in on the action too with plans to massively […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Usually it’s the fashionistas we expect to shop ’til they drop at Bluewater – but now the shopping centre is getting in on the action too with plans to massively drop its energy use.

The shopping Mecca wants to halve its seven-figure energy bill to transform itself into Europe’s most energy efficient retail centre.

With a yearly energy bill of £1.4million for non-tenant areas, the owners of Bluewater will use software developed by US tech firm Sefaira to lower its costs and carbon footprint, which is currently the same as 14,000 homes.

Mads Jensen, Sefaira’s CEO said: “These sorts of figures are typical across the retail industry. Combined, the country’s 40 biggest shopping centres consume about £40m of energy annually. Our challenge is to raise the efficiency at Bluewater – halve its energy consumption – to make it an industry leader.”

Sefaira has begun crunching huge amounts of data from Bluewater such as the building fabric, heating and cooling systems, lighting and daylight and building controls.

Jensen went on: “The process starts with pinpointing inefficiencies across the public areas of the centre’s 1.6m square feet of floor area. Then over the next two months we will work closely with the Bluewater team to design a programme of upgrades and improvements to unlock maximum savings at minimum cost.”

Pascal Mittermaier, Head of Sustainability for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Lend Lease, which manages and part owns Bluewater said: “Over the past years we have worked very hard to manage energy use at our retail centres, achieving reductions of around 20%. But we are reaching the limits of what traditional methods can achieve.”

The property group’s sustainability chief added: “Our ambition is to reduce common energy use by 50% – saving us and our clients money and reducing the centre’s carbon footprint even further.”