Tag Archives: energy savings

What Do They Mean: NSF, UL and Energy Star Rated

While shopping for restaurant equipment (and many other products), you will find NSF listed, UL certified and Energy Star rated items.  In many cases, people do not always know what these mean. We’ve compiled this list based from the  CFSP (Certified Foodservice Professional) guide and each of their websites to explain everything.

NSFNSF

What it stands forNational Sanitation Foundation

Who they are: A non-profit, non-governmental organization, also known as the Public Health and Safety Company™, who describe themselves as the “world leader in standards development, product certification and risk-management for public health and safety.”

Why they are important: The CFSP guide says NSF has the following three purposes for equipment in the foodservice industry:

  1. Assure all equipment meets health standards and passes critical inspection at the facility
  2. Allows manufacturers to apply uniform construction methods to all NSF listed equipment
  3. Provide health authorities throughout the country a “united front or voice” to require basic elements of equipment sanitation

What NSF listed means: In order to obtain the NSF listing, the equipment is reviewed and tested before approval. As there several types of equipment, NSF says on their website they have developed “over 50 voluntary American National Standards under the scope of health and safety” for foodservice equipment.  They look closely at these standards before granting the NSF listing.

Below is a very brief and general overview from the CFSP guide of some of the things NSF looks into (keep in mind there are different standards more specific to different kinds of equipment):

  1. Physical design and construction evaluation for ease of cleaning
  2. Materials (look for corrosion or heat resistance, durability, nontoxic)
  3. Performance
  4. Sanitation effectiveness
  5. Accuracy of control systems

UL Underwriters LaboratoriesUL

What it stands forUnderwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Who they are: UL is an independent, non-for-profit and non-governmental organization who describes themselves as “a global independent safety science company offering expertise across five key strategic businesses: Product Safety, Environment, Life and Health, University and Verification Services.”

Why they are important: With over 75 years of experience, the CFSP guide says the UL listing evaluates gas, electrical and sanitation safety on cooking, refrigeration, food processing and food prep equipment. They look at the most current standards and follow up after approval to ensure standards are maintained. A very brief overview of their mission on their website is below, view their full list here. They:

  1. Promote safe working environments
  2. Support the production and use of physically and environmentally safe products to prevent or reduce loss of life and property
  3. Advance safety science

What UL listed means: To receive the UL listing, companies will have received the proper testing for a specific product based on their over 20 safety standards. UL has worked with many organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), National Electrical Code (NEC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to determine and maintain current standards. The CFSP guide also adds the UL listing can also be reviewed for custom built equipment as well. To read how the entire process to make a product UL listed works, click here.

Are products with the UL Sanitation mark also NSF listed? According to the Underwriters Laboratories, they are accredited by the American National Standards Institute to certify products to NSF standards. This applies to food equipment, drinking water chemicals and products, and swimming pool equipment. For more information on UL products being NSF listed, check out this Code Authorities — EPH FAQs article. You can also review the “UL Food Program: Acceptance of the UL Mark” which includes information about the UL sanitation classification mark.

Energy StarEnergy Star®

Who they are: Energy Star® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.  They have created a partnership with the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and the U.S. Department of Energy that uses methods to protect the environment with energy efficient products and practices.

Why they are important: Energy Star® rated products are able to give a solution to some of the high energy costs and environmental issues.  “Energy Star® provides a trustworthy label on over 60 product categories (and thousands of models) for home and office,” their website says. They also deliver technical information and tools to help make decisions for energy efficiency and play a key role in the latest technological advances. They have also put together a guide titled “Putting Energy into Profit” specifically for restaurants.

The Energy Star® website says their label was created to:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy
  2. Make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features and comfort

What Energy Star means:  Energy Star® says “products can earn the Energy Star® label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in Energy Star® product specifications.”  These specifications have been/are established by the EPA, based on key guiding principles on this website.  According to the CSFP guide, if a product is Energy Star® rated, a manufacturer must be able to show they meet the minimum energy efficiency criteria for that particular product category.

**Note: Certain Energy Star® products qualify for Federal tax credits, for more information click here.

We hope you have found these helpful. While browsing through Central’s catalog and online store, you will find the NSF and UL listing in our copy or the Energy Star® logo if it applies.

Survey: how restaurants are saving energy

According to a survey recently posted by the National Restaurant Association, 44% of restaurant operators have made some kind of change in operations to save energy.  What are some of the most common changes?

Have you made changes to reduce the amount of energy your restaurant, school or commercial kitchen consumes?  What are some of the most significant changes you’ve made?

How Restaurants are Saving Energy

Source: National Restaurant Association

Why replace old equipment?

With everyone trying like crazy right now to cut costs and save money, it seems rather tough to justify the expense of a brand new fridge, freezer or ice machine.

There are incentives to buying used equipment…but often it ends up costing more in the long run, due to increased utility costs, down time and repair costs.

Following is information we have collected in case studies, comparing apples to apples to figure out just how much money is saved by purchasing new, energy saving equipmentv versus holding onto that old equipment.

Ice Machines

Ice is especially important when it comes to energy efficiency because it’s used by virtually every diner; and because of the potential to drastically waste water and electricity in the kitchen.

When an ice machine is running inefficiently or becomes overheated, you’re basically paying money to pour water down the drain.

Advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to build much more efficient ice machines than they could 10 years ago. Scotsman’s Prodigy cuber was one of the first to exceed both the 2008 California Energy Commission and 2010 Federal Energy Efficiency regulations by up to 22%.

The efficiency of commercial ice machines is rated in terms of the harvest rate, or pounds of ice produced daily; the energy usage in KWh; and the water usage in gallons.

Consider a typical 10-year old cuber. The machine can cost 36% more in electricity and water than the Energy-Star rated Prodigy Cuber model# C0330SA-1A.

Assuming a utility rate of $.10, which is the national average, the Energy Star model saves up to $114 a year in energy, and as much as $90 a year in water—that’s real savings of $612 over a 3-year period!

Plus, the Prodigy cuber reduces the need for downtime and service calls with a warning system that alerts you to interruptions before they occur, and offers reminders for required maintenance like filter changes and cleanings. What if you had to pay $400 for a service call every two years? You’d also have to pay at least $100 for 25 bags of ice during downtime. That amounts to $300 a year.

Combining the cost of electric and water, you could save more than $2000 over a 10-year period (not including repairs)—that’s enough to cover the cost of your ice machine.

Plus, some utility companies offer a one-time utility rebate for qualifying Energy-Star rated ice machines. According to Energy Star’s Rebate Locator, utility companies in Illinois, Minnesota, California and Oregon currently offer rebates.

In California, where the utility rate is higher than the national average (about $.13), a customer can save up to $2500 in 10 years.

Hot Holding Cabinets

Hot food holding cabinets must meet a maximum idle energy rate of 40 watts/cubic foot. They are more efficient at maintaining food temperature while using less energy. Energy Star hot holding cabinets are better insulated to reduce heat loss, and often have additional energy saving devices like magnetic door gaskets, auto-door closures or Dutch doors.

If you compare a non-insulated cabinet, to an insulated, Energy Star cabinet, C539-HDS-4, you can save nearly $400 in utilities over the first year (assuming a $.10 utility rate). The unit pays for itself in about six years; and in 10 years, you can save nearly $4000.

In addition, the estimated energy savings generated by using an insulated Energy Star hot holding cabinet vs. a non-insulated cabinet are equivalent to the carbon consumed annually by .63 acres of pine or fir forests.

(Note: Although model# C539-HDS-4 is Energy Star rated, it is not eligible for a utility rebate because the idle energy rate -the rate of consumption while maintaining a stabilized operating condition- is higher than 20kW.)

Refrigerators and Freezers

Perhaps the most important pieces to replace with Energy Star equipment are refrigerators and freezers, because they consume more energy than any other appliances in the kitchen. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers are designed with components such as ECM (electronically commutated motor) evaporators and condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

True Refrigerators

True Manufacturing has been making commercial refrigeration for more than 60 years, and even units that are 10 years old have stood the test of time. Nevertheless, each line of True refrigerators and freezers continue to be more efficient and more advanced than the one before it.

You can save $194 a year in utilities on the T-49 solid-door refrigerator, compared to a 10-year-old refrigerator (assuming an average utility rate of $.10.). That amounts to almost $2000 over 10 years.

Again, some utility companies will pay you a one-time rebate of $150 for buying the T-49 refrigerator.

In California, you can save $403 during the first year (based on the higher utility rate of $.13), after you include your $150 rebate. During the next nine years, you could save an estimated $253 each year, amounting to savings of about $2600 over a 10-year-period.

True Freezers

Compared to a 7-year-old freezer, the True 49”W Energy Star freezer T-49F, can save almost $250 a year. And many states offer a one-time rebate of $325, allowing you the potential to save nearly $600 in the first year.

Turbo Air Refrigerators

Now consider another well-known brand—Turbo Air. Refrigerator , Model# MSR-49NM also a 49”W solid-door unit, could save an estimated $175 annually, again assuming a utility rate of $.10.

California customers with a $.13 utility rate would save about $378 in the first year, after receiving a $150 rebate. Total savings over 10 years would be about $2430.

Turbo Air Freezers

The 49”W Turbo Air freezer model TSF-49SD would save about $533 in the first year, (including the $325 utility rebate), and about $208 each following year. California customers would save about $595 the first year, and about $270 each following year.

Steamers

High efficiency steamers offer shorter cook times, higher production rates and reduced heat loss due to better insulation and more efficient steam delivery systems. They also use less water – often just two or three gallons per hour, compared to 25 to 30 gallons per hour for standard models.

If you compare the Cleveland SteamChef 3, to an 8-year old model, average yearly energy savings can be as much as $888! And you can save more than $1000 in annual water bills. That amounts to nearly $20,000 in potential savings over a 10-year period.

For a customer in California, paying an average utility rate of $0.13, average yearly savings could be as much as $2000.

In addition, some utility companies offer a one-time rebate of up to $750!

Convection Ovens

According to the Foodservice Technology Center, Energy Star plans to start rating ovens sometime in 2009. Although Vulcan gas convection oven model VC4GD is not rated, it does have a unique heat recovery system that recirculates heated air to save energy and reduce operating costs.

Utility savings for this unit can be as much as $365 a year, which amounts to more than $1000 over a three year period. This estimate is based on an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, operating an average of 12 hours per day, and cooking about 100 lbs of food.

Many states also offer a one time utility rebate of up to $500.

The energy saved by this unit versus a 5-year-old standard efficiency unit results in an annual natural gas savings of 365 therms, which is the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 207 gallons of gasoline or 4.2 barrels of oil!

Charbroilers

According to the Foodservice Technology Center, the broilers is probably the most energy-hungry appliance in your kitchen – often using more energy than six fryers.

Garland’s High Efficiency (HE) Broiler has cast iron burners, each with its own cast iron radiant. The unit also has a power switch operation and a continuous electric spark ignition ensuring a consistent main burner flame during operation.

Assuming an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, and that the broiler is used an average of 12 hours a day, you can save as much as $1700 a year, compared to a 5-year-old standard efficiency broiler – that adds up to savings of more than $5000 over a three year period; in 10 years, you can save as much as $17,000!

Pre-rinse spray valves

All pre-rinse valves use a spray of water to remove food waste from dishes prior to cleaning in a dishwasher – a low-flow pre-rinse spray valve is one of the easiest and most cost-effective energy saving devices available to the foodservice operator.

A low-flow pre-rinse spray valve can save up to 60 gallons of water a day; .5 therms of gas per day in water heating energy and also saves 60 gallons in waste-water. The result is an average reduction in utility costs of $300-$350 a year, if you use the pre-rinse spray valve about an hour each day. This estimate is based on spray-valve savings on 1 gallon per minute; a water cost of $2.00 per unit and a gas rate of $1.00 per therm, which is the national average.