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Tesco touch screens get staff cutting energy

Emily Smoucha
19th January 2011
Retail giant Tesco is getting its employees involved in carbon cutting with touch screen energy monitors.
After a test programme in nine stores, Tesco will install touch screen energy boards in 500 locations across the country. The energy boards will be placed in the staff areas of each store and display which sections, such as the bakery, petrol station, lighting or heating, are consuming the most energy.

This is the first time such technology has been used in a supermarket to cut carbon emissions and Tesco has won an international award on the back of it.  

How the screens work
The technology works by showing the parts of the store that are using the most energy on the monitor boards. By letting staff know which areas are using the most power, they can adapt so that the area does not consume as much power.  

When the system was put in place in Tesco’s Portsmouth store, the monitor showed high energy use at the petrol station. By reduce the lighting during the day, staff at the store were able to cut the station store’s energy use.

After the test run at the nine stores, total energy consumption dropped by two to three per cent, which Tesco described as "a huge margin" for one piece of equipment. The new installations will have the potential to prevent the release of an additional 23,000 tonnes of CO2, the company said.

Cutting out paper usage
Not only do the monitors get employees involved, but also Tesco said they helped to further reduce the stores’ carbon footprint by removing the need for reams of paper data that detail the store’s energy consumption.

Richard Lee, head of Energy at Tesco, said: "This is an exciting development in Tesco’s long term plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its stores by 2020 […] The energy boards also present a visual snapshot of the data, which is far more meaningful that reams of paper based data and empowers people to actively promote energy saving."

Tesco recently won the 'Energy Efficiency Programme of the Year – Commercial End-User' award at the Platts Global Energy Awards in New York because of its use of the touch screen monitors.

Tesco has set itself an ambitious target to become zero-carbon by 2050.

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