John Lewis and Waitrose are to turn down the temperature and dim the lights to reduce energy bills.

John Lewis Cheltenham

The department store group and grocer will respectively take the measures as parent John Lewis Partnership faces an energy bill that could go over budget by almost £20m, The Guardian reported.

An internal communication seen by the newspaper said that “without intervention” the retailer faces “£18m energy cost overspending against our original predictions” for the financial year ending in January.

An email cautioned that “next year’s forecast is equally challenging” and that the Partnership is seeking savings of £9m in the next 12 months through changes to energy settings in stores and offices.

It said: “Between now and December 30, 2022, the temperature of our branches, offices and distribution centres will be reduced by two degrees and systems switched to eco mode.”

In Waitrose branches, the brightness of lighting and the number of lights switched off will vary. Lighting surveys are also being conducted in order to “explore further reduction opportunities”.

Other options being assessed include putting night blinds on fridges to trap cold air inside and switching off unnecessary equipment and lighting in areas that are not being used.

Other retailers are taking similar initiatives to bring down energy costs. The Co-op, for instance, has dimmed lights in its shops to save £4,000 at each location and Currys has reduced the brightness of display TVs and turned off a proportion of lights.

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