A heating system powered by freezers is being tested by Midcounties Co-operative in a bid to cut energy bills for its food retail business by more than £67,000 per year.
The environmentally friendly system is being trialled at stores in Wheatley and Witney in Oxfordshire. It recycles hot air generated by refrigerators to provide hot water and heating for the shops.
Midcounties Co-op estimates switching to this form of heating would enable it to save £16 per square metre of sales space annually at current utility rates.
According to its calculations, a 3,000 sq ft store would save more than £4,800 per year. Midcounties Co-op operates 149 food stores and so could save at least £67,200 per year through the system.
The project has proved successful so far and will be rolled out to a third store at Long Hanborough, also in Oxfordshire, due to open later this year. Vector Design, also based in the county, adapted the system, which originated in the US, specifically for the Midcounties Co-op stores.