The very first ‘green’ Big W will open today in Inverell, using 30 per cent less energy than a standard store.
“We are extremely excited to make Inverell our first green store, featuring a whole host of cutting edge technology designed to reduce our environmental footprint,"  said Big W director Julie Coates.
As the very first green department store in the country, Big W Inverell is piloting environmental technology that will reduce its energy consumption by 30 per cent – the equivalent of powering 37 households for an entire year or taking 62 cars off the road.
The vast majority of energy used in Big W stores comes from powering air conditioning units. In an attempt to combat this, air conditioning will use temperature sensing devices to determine the most comfortable temperature for customers as well as the optimum start-up time to avoid wasting energy. Trials of this system have determined that it could save enough electricity to power three houses for a year.
T5 fluorescent lighting, proven to be up to 30 per cent more efficient than traditional lighting will be used in the store and back of house area. Furthermore, LED lights will be utilised in displays and down lighting, resulting in a reduced energy consumption of as much as 70 per cent.
Solar panels, in conjunction with special ‘Thermatech’ reflective paint, serve the dual purpose of absorbing sun light to heat the store’s water whilst reflecting excess sunlight, resulting in a cooler store and reduced energy consumption. This is the first time this paint has been used on a retail building in Australia.
The Inverell store will utilise a refined version of the water saving strategy introduced into all Big W stores in 2009. The program saved 172 million litres of water throughout the year.