Solar panels and heat pumps are set to go mainstream as Sainsbury’s, working in partnership with EDF Energy, becomes the first supermarket to sell these and other home energy innovations in its stores.
Sainsbury’s Home Energy Centres (HECs) will open at three stores this week. Customers will have a range of energy saving and renewable energy products to choose from, including solar panels, insulation and low carbon heat pumps that use energy from the air to heat radiators and water.*
The three pilot stores, in Camberley, Kidderminster and Leicester, will act as showrooms that support a national sales line through which shoppers anywhere in the country can order environmentally friendly heating and insulation solutions for home delivery and installation.
The centres will also offer an advice service providing customers with a free energy action plan tailored to their own home.
Adam Zeiderman, Sainsbury’s commercial manager, said: “The Home Energy Centres will provide a wide range of products and services aimed at helping our customers save money on their energy bills. There are lots of people who want to invest in renewable energy products but they don’t know how or where to start. By setting up our Home Energy Centres to complement the national order line, we believe we’re bringing green technology a step closer to everyone.
“We use some of these products in many of our stores, and now we’re making it easier for people to use them in their own homes.”
Natalie Washington, who is leading the initiative at EDF Energy, added, “We’re really excited about launching this new initiative with Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains. EDF Energy is committed to bringing sustainable energy solutions home to everyone to address all their specific needs.
“Supermarkets are part of our everyday lives and we want to help make energy efficiency part of everyday thinking too. The aim behind the Home Energy Centres is to make this information, and other energy and money-saving solutions, easily accessible.”
The initiative has the backing of the Energy Savings Trust (EST). Phillip Sellwood, chief executive at the Trust said:
“The Energy Saving Trust welcomes this initiative between EDF Energy and Sainsbury’s offering customers greater choice. Our data indicates up to 10million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year could be saved through microgeneration technologies by 2020. But it relies on a careful blend of options to boost domestic uptake of the technologies between now and 2020 – a mix of incentives is required to make products affordable and give consumers more choice and confidence. Sainsbury’s and EDF Energy’s new offering is part of this process.
“Householders installing microgeneration technologies should only consider installing products certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Sainsbury’s solar panels are MCS Certified”.
EDF Energy trained advisors will be on hand to offer tailored advice and customers will also be able to see and touch the products which could make their homes more energy efficient.
The Home Energy
Centres can also make it easier for customers to sign up to a new gas or electricity tariff, apply for grant funding for the renewable energy products in the store or join the Sainsbury’s Energy Saving Challenge where customers will receive regular energy saving ideas.