International home improvement company, Kingfisher has announced that the recently opened Peterborough Screwfix store will be the first in its estate to be net zero in its energy usage, generating as much power as it uses and passing surplus energy back to the grid.
The store provides solar panels, solar battery storage and an air source heat pump, creating a new and innovative solution to save energy. The Peterborough store marks the first time Kingfisher has used solar panels or air source pumps together with battery storage to power operations around the clock.
Power is generated by the solar panels during the day, and excess energy is used to charge the batteries which power the store in the evenings. The air source heat pump has replaced gas and electric heating, and together with the solar PV system, heats the store more efficiently. Surplus power goes back to the grid, off-setting the days in winter when the solar PV will be generating less power and grid energy is needed to power the store.
The Peterborough team is now considering other moves to reduce energy use even further. Graham Bell, CEO at Screwfix, explains: “We are investing now to cut energy across our own operations, and our long-term aspiration is to match this by helping customers have zero carbon or energy positive homes and businesses too.”
Kingfisher as a whole is working hard to become a net positive business. The business has reduced its absolute carbon footprint by 16% since 2010/11 and aims to increase this to 25% by 2020. It purchases 100% of its UK energy from renewable sources, covering both the Screwfix and B&Q businesses, and will have invested over £10 million in on-site renewables by the end of this year. The sustainability report also reveals that a third (32%) of Kingfisher group sales now come from products that make customers’ homes more sustainable, taking the business closer to its goal of 50% by 2020.
Jeremy Parsons, Head of Energy and Renewables at Kingfisher, commented: “‘Being able to create a zero energy store is a huge milestone for us. This store has a range of solutions that we have deployed individually across distribution centres and large format stores in the UK and France. Pulling them into one project at Screwfix demonstrates how far we can go towards creating very low carbon stores, and this approach is informing our next phase of investment in energy projects for the near future.”
For more detail on the progress Kingfisher has made on sustainability, please visit the website.
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