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Decathlon offers to buy surplus solar energy from customers

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Sporting goods store Decathlon wants to buy back surplus solar energy from customers in Belgium in exchange for a voucher, the French company announced on Monday.

If customers interact with the offer, the chain expects to be able to use more renewable energy through a network of solar panels, in an effort to make the store greener.

Decathlon currently generates 27% of its electricity from solar panels installed on the roofs of some 25 stores in Belgium. In the very short term, the company would like to generate a third of its electricity from its own solar panels. But it has even greater ambitions, by involving its customers “to form the first energy community in Belgium”.

In concrete terms, customers are invited to provide Decathlon with their surplus solar energy in exchange for a “solar” credit worth 4.5 cents per kWh, or a “gift voucher” to be spent in the chain’s stores.

“The system will initially only be accessible to residents equipped with a digital meter, i.e. in Flanders and Brussels. “We hope to reach 1,000 customers within a year and cover two-thirds of our electricity needs,” explains Alex Polfliet, manager of the energy consultancy firm Zero Emission Solutions, which designed the model.

The system will be effective as of July 1.

The Brussels Times