The UK supermarket group Sainsbury's expects to cut its power bills and carbon dioxide emissions from its buildings after signing an energy management contract with the German multi-utility RWE. The outsourcing deal replaces a similar agreement reached with the disgraced energy trader Enron shortly before its collapse late last year.
Under the four and a half year deal announced by Sainsbury group energy manager Julius Brinkworth, RWE will supply gas and electricity to stores, depots and offices, and manage a £14.5m ($22m) investment in energy efficiency measures across the business.
The programme will include modification of refrigeration systems, a review of existing equipment and monitoring of temperature controls. Sainsbury's, which operates 458 stores around the UK, says the move is expected to cut its £50m a year energy bill by 11% over two years. It will also contribute to its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from its buildings by 10% by March 2005.