Supermarket chain launches hydro power cooperation

Customers of an Austrian supermarket chain will be able to order hydro energy supply while buying their foodstuff.Bosses at Merkur said today (Tues) shoppers would be offered contracts with Styrian provider Unsere Wasserkraft, a subsidiary of Energie Steiermark, at its shops as of now.Merkur is part of the German Rewe Group which also includes market-leading chain Billa, discounter Penny Markt and drugstore Bipa.Energie Steiermark officials said they hoped for thousands of new customers from the new cooperation.Rewe Group’s turnover jumped by 2.7 per cent year on year to 50.9 billion Euros in 2009. Its Austrian department Rewe International AG is active in eight Central European countries.The European Commission’s (EC) statistics agency Eurostat meanwhile announced that energy and gas became more expensive in Austria while prices declined on average in the European Union (EU).It said the average price for energy provided to EU households dropped by 1.5 per cent from the second half of 2008 to the same period of last year, whereas energy provided by Austrian companies soared by 7.7 per cent.