A shop without fuel oil or natural gas? Here’s how it works
A nice cosy shop with no heating boiler may seem hard to believe, but it’s true. Our OKay shop in Stavelot proves it. We heat it using only residual heat and green electricity. We call this kind of shop ‘fossil fuel-free’. This concept is a perfect fit with our 2020 objective: by 2020, we want to reduce our total carbon emissions by 20% compared to 2008.
A fossil fuel-free shop without a heating boiler reduces carbon emissions by 99%. Not 100% because we still need to produce and maintain our installations and that can’t always be completely CO2-free. A shop without natural gas or fuel oil? We achieve this in six ways.
1. Renovate and save energy
If a shop doesn’t have a heating boiler, it must first and foremost be well-insulated and airtight. Because only then do new technologies such as heat recovery and heat pumps deliver the maximum return. That’s why we’re converting all our older shops into low-energy shops.
2. Using residual heat
How do we keep the shopping area warm? With the residual heat released from the propane or propene refrigeration plant. In a traditional refrigeration plant, the heat is expelled into the open air. You can also recover this residual heat to heat a building cost-effectively and in a more environmentally-friendly way, for example.Read more
3. Calculating the energy balance
Exactly how much heat is needed to heat the shop? How do we maximise the use of the available heat? How much residual heat is there in winter? Is that enough? Our engineers make all the calculations and see if it’s necessary to use green electricity to supplement the heat. So you’ll never have to shop in a cold shop.
4. Only sustainable electricity
If there’s the (occasional) need for extra heating in winter months, we use electricity. More specifically, sustainable electricity produced by Eoly’s solar panels and wind turbines. The whole shop also works on green electricity: lights, freezers, cash tills, etc.
5. Heat pump or not?
The butchers in Colruyt and Bio-Planet also need hot water on tap. This is why we’re testing a heat pump. It extracts heat from the environment and releases it back into the water. To do this, all the heat pump needs is electricity (and this is green). The system is far more energy-efficient than an electric boiler, and emits hardly any CO2 when compared to natural gas or fuel oil.
6. No heating boiler
If a shop has no heating boiler, there is obviously no need for a fuel oil tank or natural gas connection. That saves us the installation, inspection and maintenance costs.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.