Ground-Source Heating Crosses Over To Retail Sector As Sainsbury's Looks To Cut Costs

Sainsbury's is trialling new heating technology. The supermarket group is introducing ground-source technology used in the oil and gas sector to several of its stores, that will recycle the energy expelled by refrigeration systems.

The technology works by collecting heat lost from the back of fridges in an underground vault. The energy is transported via underground pipes and stored underground using subsurface rock - which has good insulating properties - for use during colder months. The heat can be pumped back into the store as required; all of the store's heating can be supplied using the ground-source heaters.

Using the technology, the store can cut energy consumption by more than 30% because less energy is needed from the National Grid.

Working with heating technology firm Geoscart and British Gas, Sainsbury's will roll out the innovative technology across 100 stores.

Paul Crewe, head of Sustainability, Engineering & Energy at Sainsbury's, said: "We're delighted to be leading the way on this groundbreaking technology - helping to reduce energy use and carbon. I hope that with Geoscart's help we'll now see more retailers following suit."

Geoscart chief executive Grahame Newton added: "This marks the next stage in Geoscart's growth. We developed the baseline technology from the oil and gas sector and have successfully applied it to the retail-consumer space. We are looking forward to rolling out the technology to a wider audience with the help of our operational partners."