Supermarkets could be getting fridge doors in the near future
Published: 19 May 2023
According to their Together for Retail - A Wales Retail Forum Action Plan Delivery Plan, The Welsh Retail Forum will ‘explore options to support small business premises to utilise renewables and decarbonisation initiatives’ including retrofitting ‘doors on fridges and freezers to reduce carbon footprint’.
This announcement is a timely and welcome step forward in the fight against climate emissions in Wales.
With supermarket fridges alone using around 1% of the UK power supply each year, action to reduce their energy use by retrofitting doors on them is an obvious way to save shops and supermarkets money on their energy bills as well as reducing their climate emissions.
Carolyn Thomas MS said:
“It is a welcome step forward to see a commitment to fit doors onto supermarket fridges in Wales. This is a simple but incredibly effective tool in the fight against climate change. With recent unprecedented hikes to energy costs across the UK, more than ever it makes both climate and business sense to tackle the vast amounts of energy wasted by supermarkets using open fridges. This announcement should now act as a catalyst for both government and the retail sector across the UK to reap the economic and environmental benefits of fitting fridge doors.”
Friends of the Earth Cymru spokesperson Joe Cooke said:
“We welcome this announcement today. Retrofitting doors on supermarket fridges is one of the easier things we can do to save energy and reduce Wales’s climate emissions. This one simple measure could cut a supermarket’s energy use by up to a staggering 40%.
“We would like to thank Welsh Government and the Wales Retail Forum for acting on our suggestions and we hope to see all supermarket fridges and freezers fitted with doors as soon as possible now.”
Why is this important?
UK supermarkets use 1.5 million kWh of energy, of which fridges and freezers use 60-70%.
The Times suggests supermarket fridges use 1% of the UK power supply each year. To put this into perspective, one 2.5 meter fridge without a door releases 7 tonnes of excess CO2 a year.
It's been estimated that the average home in the UK uses 4000kWh of energy each year, so the energy saved by fitting a door to one single fridge is enough to power one home for a whole year. In 2012, the Co-op put doors on their fridges in 2012 and reported a £50m a year saving. In 2021, Aldi announced plans to save the equivalent of over 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year by installing fridge doors as standard in its new and newly refurbished stores.