Sainsbury’s adds solar panels to weekly shop
Launch with new Nectar partner British Gas
Sainsbury’s customers are to be offered one-off purchases such as solar panels to help them generate their own energy at home.
Sainsbury’s Energy, in partnership with British Gas (the latest points-earning retail partner in the Nectar scheme of which Sainsbury’s is a member), will offer customers access to “green” energy technologies, energy deals, information, and energy saving advice with “trained energy experts” also available in selected stores at dual-branded Sainsbury’s/British Gas stalls.
The energy partnership went live at Sainsbury’s UK stores today (February 9), and replaces the previous tie-up the retailer had with French-owned EDF Energy.
British Gas – which has 12 million British customers – claims that UK homes have some of the lowest energy prices in Western Europe but also some of the highest bills, which it attributes to a lack of energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, and because of low take-up of new energy technologies like solar panels and ground source heat source pumps.
The utility quotes recent surveys that have shown 87% of British consumers do not know what microgeneration technologies are, and 80% don’t know where to go to buy them.
The Sainsbury’s Energy venture aims to tackle these problems by providing access to energy products, information and advice.
Sainsbury’s chief executive, Justin King, commented: “Our ambition is for Sainsbury’s Energy to become the number one destination for customers looking for new energy technologies, energy efficiency measures and great energy deals, so we can help them to reduce costs, while also reducing carbon emissions.”
Phil Bentley, MD of British Gas, added: “We know people are worried about rising energy costs, but higher prices don’t have to mean higher bills. Energy efficiency and energy generation in the home are the keys to keeping bills down, but people need more help to take advantage of them. This is why British Gas is delighted to be back on the ‘high street’ with Sainsbury’s, making it easier for customers to get the products, information and advice they need.”
Initially Sainsbury’s Energy customers will have access to the following:
• Gas and electricity, with a Nectar offer including 10,000 points in the first year
• Insulation (including loft insulation, which Sainsbury’s says can save the average household around £145 each year)
• Solar panels
• Home energy assessments (tailored energy savings reports for customers based on their individual homes, energy usage and domestic appliances)
Sainsbury’s says trained energy experts will be available in selected stores and working in hundreds of stores across the country by the end of the year.