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Retrofit to Scotmid Co-operative saves energy in retail store

The Scotmid Co-operative Moredun store in Edinburgh is one of the first and most innovative major resource efficiency retrofits in the UK. A showcase project our role was to provide resource efficiency advice and support as well as funding.

A range of measures were put in place to measure and monitor energy usage, and ultimately reduce it dramatically, namely; a building management system, lighting upgrades and efficient heating and heat recovery.

Building Management System

Scotmid Moredun has been fitted with a range of state-of-the-art technologies to reduce energy consumption. At the heart of the store’s eco innovations is a sophisticated building management system (think of it as the building’s brain), which uses real-time data to make efficient use of its resources – such as lighting, heating and refrigeration.  

Lighting in-store

All retailers know that good lighting is crucial for creating a pleasant and welcoming shopping environment for customers. Lighting also affects staff comfort, particularly during winter months and for those on night shifts – and can be an expensive overhead. In short, lighting impacts on sales and profitability.

The store’s lighting uses special sensors near the windows to automatically adjust to natural light levels outside – switching off when it is sunny and turning on when it is dark to save energy. The lights have also been upgraded from fluorescent to LED dimmable fittings, to reduce energy consumption, and will switch off when certain areas of the store are not in use. And the clever bit, lighting can be set to come on at a reduced level, for example at around 20% brightness to allow for restocking and cleaning.

The store’s lighting uses special sensors near the windows to automatically adjust to natural light levels outside – switching off when it is sunny and turning on when it is dark to save energy. The lights have also been upgraded from fluorescent to LED dimmable fittings, to reduce energy consumption, and will switch off when certain areas of the store are not in use.

Passive infrared sensors (PIR sensors) can also be used to automatically turn lights on and off, for example, when an employee enters or leaves the store room or area of the store.  PIR lighting also benefits from the use of microphones so they can stay on when they ‘hear’ movement. This can be especially useful in private or unseen areas, such as toilets.

Heating improvements

Efficient heating and heat recovery are other key parts of Scotmid Moredun’s green credentials. The heat generated by the fridges is recovered to help heat the building, while an air curtain blows out ambient air to stop heat from escaping when the store doors open.

All of the fridges have doors to improve their energy efficiency, and are programmed to switch off when alcohol is not for sale to conserve energy. The entire lighting system was upgraded, even the ATM was fitted with energy efficient LED lights.

The project has received support from: Zero Waste Scotland, Post Office Limited and contractors CBES, Climate Electrical Services Ltd, Curve Energy Ltd, KB Refrigeration and Thermal Image UK. 

Waste prevention

The store returns packaging and food waste in all Scotmid stores. Instead of it ending up in landfill, 77% of our waste is diverted to be recycled and turned into energy using ‘anaerobic digestion’.

During construction waste was minimised, recycled and reclaimed as much as possible to reduce the carbon footprint of the retrofit. Further their building contractors, CBES, support Trees for Life by planting trees in a special grove in the Scottish Highlands. 

“We are immensely proud to have opened our first eco store in Moredun – which is also the first energy efficiency retrofit of its kind in the UK. From lighting that automatically turns off when it’s sunny outside, to drinks fridges that only switch on during licensing hours, we’ve worked closely with Zero Waste Scotland and our contractors to introduce as many energy saving measures as possible into the store. We hope that Scotmid Moredun will be a model for what an energy efficiency retrofit can achieve for retailers, and we are very thankful to Zero Waste Scotland and our other contributors for their support of the project.” Colin McLean, Chief Operating Officer, Scotmid Co-operative. 

We are here to help you improve your energy useage and improve your profits

If you are a small or medium sized business, please do email us or call 0808 808 2268 for free, expert advice and support and access to Government funding such as the SME Loan fund. 

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The support provided to this organisation was delivered by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which has been relaunched as Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service as of 1 April 2020.

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