The Energy Grand Prix – saving money and cutting emissions across our estate

11 Jul 2014

Read how the Tesco Energy Grand saved us energy and money with the help of colleagues.

Energy plays a big role at Tesco, costing our UK business as much as £10 a second in the summer, so it’s vital that our stores are as energy efficient as possible. But how can this be achieved in a busy work environment like Tesco with over 3,300 stores nationwide?

The initial strategy was to set individual energy reduction targets for each store. Although this did achieve short-term energy savings the overall trend of energy consumption continued to rise. Why? Because targets alone were unable to embed an energy saving culture throughout our estate of stores.

That’s why in 2013 we launched a competition with financial incentives to engage all colleagues on the energy saving agenda – the Tesco Energy Grand Prix.


The Energy Grand Prix

We started by grouping stores across the country into 44 regional ‘teams’, with each team containing 10-20 stores of similar size and location. The prize for the group of stores which recorded the greatest energy reductions over the year? £500,000 ‘cash’ to spend on any in-store improvements.

To drive continual energy efficiency improvements, individual stores were given monthly rankings and points based on their energy reduction performance relative to other stores in their team. Because stores were ranked on relative performance rather than absolute savings, those stores which had performed poorly one month still had a good chance to top the table the next month. This helped to maintain colleague interest and excitement throughout the competition.

Nevertheless, whilst the £500,000 prize ensured buy-in from store managers and operational directors, something else was needed to ensure that every store colleague stayed motivated to save energy as part of their daily routines.

That’s why, each month, the three best performing stores in each group were given £100, £50 and £25 for their colleagues’ social funds. The prospect of several hundred pounds cash for the next party or social event boosted colleague interest in saving energy, whilst embedding energy saving practice! 


Embedding behaviour change

Each month store colleagues were given tips to help them save, for example not over-stacking freezers, closing night blinds on fridges, keeping front doors on automatic, switching off bakery ovens immediately after cooking, ensuring ovens were completely off and not in standby mode, and switching off car park lighting during the day.

In addition to these tips, we refreshed our in-store energy boards that were introduced in every store about two years ago. These give colleagues real-time information about the energy consumption in their store and help them understand where the greatest savings can be made and what their actions achieve. The Grand Prix not only reignited interest in the energy boards, but also helped to embed energy saving behaviour as part of colleagues’ everyday routines.

In April 2014 we were pleased to announce the winners of the Grand Prix: our Extra stores in the south of England. We are continuing our in-store energy efficiency work, both with new technology like LED lighting as well as another competition now underway – the Energy World Cup!