Tag Archives: steamers

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.

Free ways to save energy in the kitchen

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.

For more tips, and a cost-savings calculator, visit CentralRestaurant.com