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Sainsbury's adds solar panels to shopping lists

Weekly shopping trips at Sainsbury's could soon include solar panels and advice on saving energy after the retailer this week announced a major new partnership with British Gas.

Sainsbury's Energy will offer customers the chance to purchase solar panels, as well as gain access to in-store energy saving advice, green-home assessments, and gas and electricity tariffs. British Gas will help provide the new service after Sainsbury's dropped its previous energy partner EDF at the end of its contract.

Nectar account holders can bag 10,000 points for each solar panel installation bought through the relaunched service. "Our ambition is for Sainsbury's Energy to become the number one destination for customers looking for new energy technologies, energy efficiency measures and great energy deals, so we can help them to reduce costs, while also reducing carbon emissions," said Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King.

The deal is the latest in a line of innovations by the supermarket, which not only has agreements to buy renewable energy, but is also considering investments in on-site generation technologies.

It has stepped up its plans to fit stores with wind turbines and solar panels, and in 2009 installed kinetic road plates which harnessed enough energy from cars driving in and out to power all the check-outs at a store in Gloucester.
DIY retailer Wickes also stepped up its push into the green home market this week by offering customers four insulation rolls for the price of one until the end of 2012 in partnership with EDF.

The various initiatives are likely to be watched closely by the government, which hopes to see established retailers play a central role offering home renovation services as part of its proposed Green Deal loan scheme.

Source : Business

11 February 2011
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