Refrigeration is a necessity in every kitchen, but choosing the right system for your needs can be tricky. We are here to help.
True refrigeration is the industry-trusted name that has been manufacturing their quality refrigeration equipment in the U.S.A. since 1945! Choosing True refrigeration could mean saving money and the environment. As we have talked about in a previous post, investing in Energy Star rated equipment can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings a year.
Going Green is a more efficient way to operate and you can save money on your water bills, electric bills, taxes and more while decreasing the amount of pollution. Explore these links for more information.
If you are interested in saving money and reducing pollution, consider Going Green. This site can help you determine the changes you can make to save money and the Earth. Also, find information about grants, loans and incentives available for businesses going green.
Energy Star products can save you money while fighting global warming. Use their savings calculator to determine how much you could save.
Today’s Topic: Energy Efficiency and Becoming Green While Saving Some Green!!
Are you looking to become green or save money by upgrading to energy efficient equipment? Energy Star rated equipment is your answer!
Energy Star rated equipment is a hot topic in these changing times. Americans using Energy Star saved enough energy in 2009 to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 30 million cars! Even better, Americans saved $17 billion on their utility bills!
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?
The use of LED lights (as opposed to incandescent or neon lights and signs)
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 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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The 2009 NAFEM Show, held in Orlando, Florida, this month at the Orange County Convention Center featured several common trends in foodservice products and equipment, including food safety, green/sustainability trends, multi-function appliances, and appliances that increase productivity and decrease prep time.
Tarrison offers an induction range with a concave surface, like a wok. Chefs love induction ranges for their powerful and precise heating capabilities; hotels and caterers are beginning to embrace them for the safety aspect– no open flame. View Tarrison’s flyer here.(PDF)
Chef Revival – The fully-insulated Rotissi-glove couples protection up to 350°F with the dexterity needed for easy handling. Chef Revival also offers a variety of chef and service apparel—much more than just your average cook’s whites.
Robot Coupe, known for its rugged, high volume food prep blenders, unveiled the new and improved CL50 Ultra. It prepares 1,200 servings in three hours or less and has dozens of attachments for versatile processing.
Hatco – Known for warming equipment, Hatco introduced the Glo-Ray Max Watt Foodwarmer, which holds food at the optimal serving temperature, but with more space and higher clearance. Hatco also introduced a sexy new black heated glass shelf—a heated shelf for self-service with a more modern presentation.
Tradeco – Their trendy square china has been around for a while, but is growing in popularity as chains restaurants struggle to be distinct from their competition. Tradeco also offers a variety of colors in their popular Celebration line of dinnerware.
Vulcan unveiled a new Energy Star certified convection oven and hot holding cabinet in one. Operators can now take food straight from the oven and load it into the cabinet for instant hot-holding. This unit offers energy-savings, labor-savings and space-savings—a triple threat!
No more flipping burgers
Vulcan also had on display a gas (or electric) rapid-recovery griddle, now available with an upper plate, allowing the operator to grill on both sides without flipping.
Blakeslee – I got a chance to see how far we’ve come in dish-machine technology—Blakeslee had on display a dish machine from 1912! The all-manual unit actually had a crank that was used to lower and raise dishes from the tank. Their current line of dish machines are much more advanced—reducing both water usage and the energy used to heat dishwater.
Cleveland Range’s new “Mini” Combi Oven Steamer is, obviously, a convection oven and steamer in one, with dozens of capabilities, including cook-and-hold, slow-cooking, and features that allow the operator to program frequently used recipes into the system for one-touch cooking.
Cooper-Atkins offers dozens of different HACCP monitoring systems for food safety, including TempTrak, which provides around-the-clock monitoring and alerts, and user-friendly software for keeping the numbers organized and stored.
San Jamar introduced the Saf-T-Wash Food Sanitizer, designed to thoroughly sanitize product, increasing the shelf-life of produce and reducing costs by eliminating the need for expensive chemicals. The unit attaches to the faucet, using your water line to combine sanitizer with water. It easily switches back and forth from water to sanitizer.
Scotsman’s new Prodigy Nugget® Ice Machine is one of the most energy-efficient ice machines available. It’s Energy Star certified, and comes equipped with an alert system for operation and maintenance, so in addition to using less water and electricity than typical ice machines, it also helps reduce costs associated with service calls.
We tried to cover the major aspects of the restaurant business from opening to advertising. For instance, the Small Business Administration provided information about loan programs, and even helps first-timers develop a business plan in order to apply for financing.
The (free) paper also includes information about choosing a location, buying equipment, designing the kitchen and dining room and some of the major current issues surrounding the restaurant.
People toss around the terms green and energy efficient a lot these days. They are the new buzz words for many industries. But are they the same?
To me, green means friendly, and energy efficient means it’s going to save me money.
The terms are closely related, but I think it’s important to understand the differences in order to implement them effectively in your establishment, and to determine which avenue is the most important to you.
According to the Business and Media Institute, businesses can spend thousands of dollars “going green,” often waiting years to see any payoff. And CNN said HSBC spent $900,000 installing energy efficient lighting.
For restaurants and institutions already struggling with rising food and fuel costs, saving the planet may not be their #1 priority.
So what are some resources that we can start using right now?
The easiest way to conserve energy in the kitchen is to control your appliances– don’t let them control you! Schedule startups and shutdowns, and use timers. If you only use the fryer during your lunch rush, turn it off between meals. If a piece of equipment takes only a few minutes to preheat, it probably doesn’t need to be on and consuming energy all day.
According to the Foodservice Technology Center, you can save an average of $75 a year if you turn off the door heaters on your reach-ins. Generally, door heaters only need to be on if you see condensation on the doors.
Another “free” way to save energy is to set the water heaters on your dish machines only to the temperature required for specific tasks. Your dish machine’s water only needs to be at either 110°F or 140°F. A heater set even 10°F too high can cost more than $600 a year!
When you are ready to start making a financial investment toward a more efficient kitchen, it’s okay to start slowly. Most of us don’t have the resources to go all-out on a futuristic, multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art kitchen. FE&S says the best pieces of equipment to start with are fryers and dishwashers.
Fryers that are Energy Star certified are generally much more efficient than conventional fryers because they allow the operator to recycle the oil they’re using instead of paying someone to come get it and haul it away.
Likewise, energy efficient dishwashers are a plus because they save on energy and water.
Last, start with the biggest pieces of equipment that consume the most energy, like refrigerators and freezers, and, if you’re cooking in bulk, broilers and steamers.