SUPER-HEERO, a European project funded under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims to boost energy efficiency investment in small and medium supermarkets, kicked off today, 15 June, with an online meeting that gathered all the consortium partners.
Energy efficiency investments are key from an environmental point of view, but also convenient in terms of expected return and payback times. For instance, energy charges account for between 10% and 15% of the total operating costs of a small or medium supermarket, making energy efficiency a great source for cost reduction. However, it is still difficult to attract private finance that can accelerate the energy transition process on a large scale in the retail sector. SUPER-HEERO aims at providing a replicable financial scheme for energy efficiency investment in small and medium supermarkets, based on stakeholder and community engagement.
“We have set very ambitious goals in this project”, said Giulia Carbonari, SUPER-HEERO project coordinator. “We expect to trigger €4.7 M of investment in sustainable energy and engage at least 88 stores, which would imply a significant energy saving and a great reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.”
The SUPER-HEERO approach relies on three main instruments: engineered Energy Performance Contracts (EPC), product-service models for technology providers engagement, and community-based crowdfunding and cooperative initiatives. The novelty of this project relies in the innovative concept that leverages customer loyalty programmes, providing a new way for supermarket operators and their shoppers to work together towards energy efficiency.
In this sense, SUPER-HEERO will enable upfront cost reduction and engagement of additional investment sources, while bringing direct economic and environmental savings for the supermarket, as well as cascade to the final customer, the engaged Energy Services Companies and utilities, and technology providers.