Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner launches first Waitrose Energy Centre

MITIE, Biomass, wood chips, renewable energy, space heating
Andrew Turner MP (centre) launches the energy centre at Waitrose East Cowes with Tony Jacob, head of construction at Waitrose (right), and Mike Tivey, managing director, MITIE (left).

The Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner, unveiled Waitrose’s first energy centre on Friday 30 March 2012. This sees Waitrose East Cowes become the first UK supermarket to receive most of its heating, cooling and power from sustainably-sourced local woodchip.

The technology means the store will cut its carbon emissions by over 750 tonnes per year, the equivalent to 1,500 transatlantic flights. There will even be capacity in the future to heat local homes and community facilities.

The energy centre, developed by Waitrose and energy services company MITIE, will also generate £150,000 every year for the local economy in the form of new jobs and through the purchasing of the wood chip.

Local schools and interested parties will be able to find out more about the process at the visitor centre, which forms part of the building where the energy centre is housed.

Waitrose East Cowes already has a number of green initiatives incorporated into its design such as propane-based refrigeration technology which reduces energy usage by 20%. In addition, it uses ‘sun pipes’ throughout the store to let natural light in until it gets dark and a cold-air retrieval system instead of air-conditioning.

This all forms part of the retailer’s commitment to reducing its absolute carbon footprint by 15% by 2020 — based on its 2010 emission levels and including the creation of new stores.

Andrew Turner, Isle of Wight MP, said: “I am very pleased to see the development of this new energy centre. The John Lewis Partnership’s decision to take this course of action is a shining example for other businesses on the Island. We are now yet another step closer to achieving our Eco-Island goals.”

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