Challenge led competition: Low energy solutions for shops


Climate-KIC affiliate partner from Valencia RIC – the Valencian Institute of Buildings (IVE) -along with the close support of the CONSUM supermarket cooperative, has launched LESS Competition to seek innovative solutions aimed at improving the energy performance of CONSUM stores.

This initiative is part of the Climate Market Accelerator (CMA), a programme of the Entrepreneurship pillar, to accelerate the development of innovative products and services that help tackle climate change.

 Demand side

The Managing Director of the IVE, Luis Esteban Domínguez, said: “The competition’s challenges was identified on the basis of an analysis conducted by CONSUM with the goal of enhancing its stores’ energy performance, they were very interested in positioning CONSUM as a model of environmental friendliness and a pacesetter in the use of new technologies.”

“After this analysis and putting together synergies from IVE and CONSUM, we identified as main areas to focus the competition the reduction of lighting and HVAC energy”, he affirmed.

CONSUM is one of the biggest commercial distribution cooperatives on the Mediterranean seaboard, and it has over 600 establishments scattered all over different regions of Spain.

 Climate challenge / impact

In order to meet EU 2020 targets, the built environment will need to play a major part in reducing our carbon footprint.  The trade sector is one of the most representative of the Valencian Region economy, 30.5% of its companies belong to this sector. The evolution of the sector in recent decades has led the modernization of their commercial practices, bringing the spread of the self-service shopping, logistic networks, and consequently the increase of energy consumption up to 22.6%, average relative to the services sector.

 15%  of the electricity used by a standard CONSUM supermarket goes to heating and cooling, while 16% goes to lighting. That makes a total of approximately 200,000 kWh per year. If measures are taken to save energy in stores, the amount of energy consumed can be significantly reduced, leading to a major reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

 The Results

Two winning proposals will be selected and will be eligible for two different prizes, depending on where each particular proposal sits on the scale of development:

  • Early-stage idea: the winner may draw a cheque of €5,000 to attend Climate-KIC’s summer school “The Journey 2014”, in which he/she will be able to convert his/her idea into a business plan.
  • Close to market solution: the winner – with a solution in an advanced stage of development and near to be put into the market – will get an innovation cheque of up to €15,000 with which to consolidate the project. The competition brings the opportunity to have a pilot experience in one of the stores of CONSUM cooperative.

 Activity enlargement

The IVE is engaging a group of potential innovation buyers, who have common business needs that align to CONSUM, in order to encourage the take-up of the solutions by different buyers, extend the results and generate a bigger impact.

The debate among different buyers of innovation will provide new challenges leading to further pilots and other KIC initiatives.