Sainsbury’s signs RLtec in green deal

Clean technology company RLtec has signed a decade-long commercial deal with supermarket giant Sainsbury's that sees the venture capital-backed business' green smart grid technology installed in more than 200 stores.

Under the agreement, RLtec’s equipment has been integrated with each supermarket’s heating and ventilation systems with the aim of boosting energy efficiency..

The deal follows a successful trial of the ‘dynamic demand’ technology at three Sainsbury’s stores in the southeast. Financial details have not been disclosed, but a statement from the company says the scheme is expected to save 10,000 tonnes of carbon annually when it goes live from 1 March this year.

The announcement continues an impressive year for the British business, which was last week named New Energy Rising Star at the Rosenblatt New Energy Awards 2011. Last year the company won an investment of £6 million from a venture capital syndicate, enabling it to roll out its technology across the UK, the US, Europe, and the developing world.

RLtec’s product works by managing the power consumption of equipment and automatically responding to changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid. Appliances such as heating and ventilation systems switch off and on throughout the day and RLtec’s technology changes the timing of these ‘switchings’ to match demand on the grid.

RLtec managing director Paul Lazarevic comments, ‘Our technology represents a perfect fit for Sainsbury’s ambitions. Simply through a software upgrade to the supermarket’s existing equipment we can help deliver the significant reductions in carbon emissions the company is looking for as part of its broader environmental agenda.’

Lazarevic adds, ‘On a wider scale, the fact that dynamic demand can so easily be fitted to such a huge range of appliances across all sectors, from the domestic to the industrial and commercial, makes it a vital tool in our efforts to tackle climate change.’

Sainsbury’s property director Neil Sachdev adds: ‘By introducing this technology, we will cut the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels, reduce our own energy costs and reduce our CO2 emissions. As a large retailer, we are able to make a tremendous difference by investing in new technology and rolling it out on to our estate.’

Investors in RLtec include Low Carbon Accelerator, NAXOS Capital Partners and Carbon Trust Investment Partners.

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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