Kingfisher, the international home improvement company, has announced that the recently opened Peterborough Screwfix store will be the first in its estate to be net zero in its energy usage. Revealed as Kingfisher publishes its annual sustainability report, the net zero energy store will generate as much power as it uses and pass surplus energy back to the grid.
A Kingfisher first
The store brings together a combination of solar panels, solar battery storage and an air source heat pump, creating a new solution to save energy. Other Kingfisher stores and distribution centres have solar panels or air source pumps to provide heating, and plans are being unveiled to install energy storage batteries at the B&Q distribution centre in Swindon. However, 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.
Powering the net zero energy store
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.
Fuelling more energy saving measures
Inspired by these first steps, the Peterborough team is now considering other moves to reduce energy use even further. For example, by using energy metres on-site, Screwfix could see a spike in energy use at the start of the day when people were making their morning coffee. By fitting a hot water tap that uses battery-stored solar power, they hope to eliminate this energy use.
Graham Bell, chief executive officer at Screwfix, said: “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. Our net zero store in Peterborough represents a significant milestone in our ambition to embed sustainability across the business, and help customers to create good, sustainable homes and businesses.”