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Sainsbury’s begins huge lighting project

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has partnered with General Electric to slash its energy costs by installing around a quarter of a million LED lighting fixtures in over 450 stores by 2020.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has partnered with General Electric to slash its energy costs by installing around a quarter of a million LED lighting fixtures in over 450 stores by 2020.

The mammoth upgrade will be one of the UK’s largest ever energy efficiency projects.

It is expected to cut the company’s electricity consumption on lighting by 58 per cent, as well as contributing to its carbon reduction target of 30 per cent against 2005 levels by 2020.

The move will make the supermarket the first UK grocer to light all of its stores with LEDs. M&S has made the same commitment, but set a later target date of 2025.

Current, the smart buildings division of General Electric, will provide finance, design, supply, installation and project management services.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, energy, engineering and environment at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re proud to be the first supermarket to switch our large stories entirely to LED lighting.

“We're always looking for new ways of achieving our sustainability goals, and switching to LED lighting is a big step in the right direction. We’ve almost halved the carbon emissions of our stores since 2005, and in the last 12 months reduced our electricity use by 11.6 per cent despite growing our operation by 54.2 per cent.”

LED lighting is by far the most popular energy efficiency investment for UK businesses along with related measures such as lighting controls, and is improving in efficiency and price far faster than predicted.

Pete Lau, chief executive of Current’s European operations, commented: “We believe the adoption of energy efficient technology can be a core piece of building not only a more sustainable business, but also a more profitable one.”