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DEFRA Retail Sector

The sectoral reports on the refrigeration energy usage in transport can be downloaded from this page, the sectoral focus page.

There are approximately 0.8-million refrigerated display cabinets in use in the UK and they are estimated to consume 5,768 – 12,698 GWh of energy per year. The potential for saving energy used in supermarket retail display of foods is considerable. Reducing 1) infiltration of ambient air through the open front of multi deck cabinets and 2) radiant heat gain on food surfaces would produce the biggest improvements in energy efficiency.

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Approaches and technologies to reduce energy consumption in supermarkets and retail display cabinets

The total annual CO2 emissions associated with the energy consumption of the major retail food outlets in the UK amount to around 4.0 MtCO2. The energy consumption and emissions from supermarkets varies widely and can depend on many factors such as the type and size of the store, business and merchandising practices and refrigeration and environmental control systems used. The energy consumption data of a sample of 2,570 retail food stores from a number of major retail food chains in the UK shows a wide variability of energy intensity even within stores of the same retail chain. A power law can be used to describe the variation of the average electrical energy intensity of the stores in the sample with sales area.

If the electrical intensity of the stores above the average is reduced to the average by energy conservation measures, annual energy savings of the order of 10% or 840 GWh can be achieved representing 355,000 tonnes annual reduction in CO2 emissions. The paper also discusses the major energy consuming processes in retail food stores and identifies opportunities for energy savings.

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Refrigeration energy consumption in UK supermarkets

Contact FRPERC

Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC), Grimsby Institute (GIFHE), Nuns Corner Campus, Laceby Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. DN34 5BQ. UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1472 315522 / 315565 | Email: frperc@grimsby.ac.uk