Tesco cuts energy consumption by boosting fridge temperatures

Tesco has cut its energy consumption by as much as 10% thanks to a trial which involves raising the temperature of its fridges by one degree.

With the help of new AI technology, the trial helped Tesco save 4GWh of energy and more than 835 tonnes of CO2e throughout its refrigerated distribution network over a 21-month period.

Industrial refrigeration company, Star Refrigeration, installed its Ethos AI technology into eight of the grocer’s distribution centres across the UK.

Data harvested from these sites was then used to assess the optimal balance between operational efficiency and energy consumption, which included making changes and repairs to capital expenditure initiatives and purging air from condensers.

Under the trial, chill temperatures across Tesco’s refrigeration estate were increased by 1°C, which it said “challenged conventional practises in the sector”, resulting in significant cost savings.

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The results saw the retailer save 4GW of energy and cut CO2 emissions by 835 tonnes in the 21 months from January 2022 to September 2023.

Tesco group energy manager Rob Redfern said: “We’re very proud to say that we have reduced energy consumption by an average of 10% across those distribution sites in the short period between January 2022 and September 2023, achieving a return on investment in under three months.”

The news comes after Tesco saw profits more than double in its full year results this week, as price pressures on supermarkets continued to ease.

It also hailed “significant progress” in reducing its carbon emissions, revealing it had cut scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 61% against its baseline, surpassing its 2025 target of 60%.


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