In just one year the White Rose Centre has reduced its electricity consumption by 22 per cent, thanks to the UK retail sector’s largest solar energy installation.
The Leeds-based shopping centre’s owner Landsec said it now in turn wants to pass this saving on to retailers in the form of a reduction in the utilities service charge at the centre..
Out of the 20 industrial sectors measured by the Office for National Statistics, retail was the fifth-highest consumer of fossil fuel-based energy in 2016, using more non-renewables than the entire construction sector.
Combined with a summer of record-high temperatures and sunshine, Landsec said that the White Rose’s solar PV demonstrates the potential for retail sites to leverage renewable technologies to reduce energy consumption and costs.
In July the White Rose came close to its first ever net-zero day, where the difference between the energy consumed and generated was just over £70 worth of electricity.
Tom Byrne, Sustainability Manager at Landsec, commented: “The success of the solar PV system at White Rose is a case in point of the top-to-bottom benefits that the entire sector can enjoy when sustainability is embedded in retail.
“As battery technology improves and costs of renewable energy storage fall, the economy of scale for renewables and the level of savings that can be passed on to retailers is vast.”