Formula One racing technology is to be used to reduce energy bills in UK food retailing.

New aerofoil technology chillers developed by Williams Advanced Engineering and Aerofoil Energy are being rolled out across Sainsbury’s retail estate in mid-2018 with an expected 15% energy saving.

The new equipment will prevent cold air from leaving the chillers and will also increase aisle temperatures, therefore reducing store heating and refrigeration bills.

First developed in 2015, the Sainsbury’s deal represents the first major UK rollout of the technology.

Paul McAndrew, managing director of Aerofoil Energy said the deal: “Signals the successful conclusion of several years of extensive development work, which can benefit retailers in the UK and globally in significantly reducing carbon emissions.”

Though representing a high investment cost, new refrigeration units can pay for themselves. The manager of Spar Sandylands in Kendal told Retail Express new units had halved electricity costs.

New regulations coming into effect in 2018 will add further pressure for retailers to modernise their units – the EU is to cut the use of CFC dependent units by 30%. Currently 38% of UK refrigeration units uses CFCs.

Do it: Check if you are following these five steps to lower energy bills