Tesco backs carbon cutting education programme

Supermarket set to work with school children to cut 1,000 households’ bills

Tesco has teamed up with environmental charity Waste Watch to educate school children about domestic energy efficiency. The supermarket chain’s ‘low carbon home challenge’ aims to help 1,000 households cut £40 each from their annual electricity bills. This equates to about 10% of the average UK domestic bill.

The project will start in six secondary schools in Bedford and New Malden in the autumn. Pupils will be given energy monitors for their classrooms and homes and taught about climate change and energy efficiency.

Tesco is not the first retailer to support consumer education on green issues. Homebase’s 21st Century Living project last year helped 100 customers green their homes, for example, while Marks and Spencer is funding the expansion of four household recycling schemes (ENDS Report, April 2010 and February 2010). B&Q is trialling an energy efficiency advice and installation service and offers grants to community groups for sustainability projects (ENDS Report, March 2010).

Energy companies are required by law to help customers improve their domestic energy efficiency. But consumer goods firms such as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser have also set targets that include domestic carbon emissions (ENDS Report, June 2010 and July 2010).

However, results of previous experiments with energy monitors have been mixed. In some cases, there appears to be a rebound effect as householders lose interest in their monitors (ENDS Report, January 2009).

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