Buying Guide: ENERGY STAR Restaurant Equipment
Last updated on April 21st, 2023 at 03:30 pm
In the foodservice industry, the kitchen is the heart of the business. From cooking to cleaning, it is a place where a lot of energy is consumed. This energy consumption can add up to a significant cost, both financially and environmentally. However, using ENERGY STAR certified kitchen equipment can be an excellent solution for these issues.
ENERGY STAR is a program established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the environment by promoting energy-efficient products. ENERGY STAR certified kitchen equipment is designed to use less energy than their non-certified counterparts, while still maintaining the same level of performance.
In this article, we will discuss how ENERGY STAR certified equipment can lead to lower operating costs and increased profitability.
Some basic benefits of using ENERGY STAR kitchen equipment:
- Save on Energy Costs: ENERGY STAR certified equipment can save you anywhere from 20% – 30% on energy bills. Kitchen equipment is responsible for the majority of energy usage in a restaurant. Thus, using efficient energy performance equipment can lead to substantial savings.
- Reduced Maintenance and Repair Costs: ENERGY STAR labeled equipment is designed to last longer, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements. This leads to reduced maintenance and repair costs.
- Environmentally Friendly: You can reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. ENERGY STAR certified equipment uses less energy, which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and a lower impact on the environment.
- Improved Comfort: Energy efficient restaurant equipment produces less heat, which can lead to a more comfortable working environment for your staff. It also reduces the load on your restaurant’s cooling system, resulting in additional energy savings.
Now we will dive deeper into specific equipment categories, and how ENERGY STAR units can provide better efficiency.
Commercial refrigeration equipment is necessary in almost all kitchens. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, refrigeration uses the most at a national average of 44%.
No matter what size foodservice you provide, refrigeration equipment can help maintain the quality, freshness, and safety of perishable foods. These appliances offer numerous benefits. The preservation of food quality, prevention of foodborne illness, and ability to store large quantities of food to name a few.
According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR buying guide, certified commercial refrigerators and freezers can save:
- $90 for electricity annually (per solid door refrigerator) or $100 annually (per transparent door refrigerator)
- $200 for electricity annually (per solid door freezer) or $430 annually (per transparent door freezer)
- $900-$1,000 over the product lifetime (refrigerators)
- $2,000-$4,300 over the product lifetime (freezers)
The True T-23F-HC 1-door reach-in freezer provides secure storage, easy access, and energy-efficiency. The self-contained refrigeration on this reach-in uses an environmentally friendly R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant which has zero ozone depletion potential.
If you’re looking for an energy efficient refrigeration, there are a huge variety of refrigerator and freezer options. This Turbo Air PRO-50R 2-door reach-in refrigerator is an excellent choice for any kitchen. This unit provides nearly 50 cubic feet of storage space.
Commercial ice makers that have earned the ENERGY STAR certification average around 12% more energy-efficiency than standard models. They are also around 20% more water efficient than standard ice machines. Between batch type and continuous type ice makers, ENERGY STAR units will increase efficiency by a minimum of 10%.
High efficiency compressors, fan motors, and fan pumps are a few features that set these certified ice makers apart.
According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR buying guide, certified ice makers can save:
- $125 for electricity annually (for batch-type) or $185 annually (for continuous-type)
- $900-$1,300 over the product lifetime
This Manitowoc IDT0500A 520 lb. air cooled dice ice machine is an all-in-one unit with the dispenser and head attached. It is certified and showcases an average 12% lower energy consumption and 23% reduction in condenser water usage.
Commercial dishwashers are found in nearly all foodservice establishments such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, concessions, and more. Initially, dishwashing equipment can be one of your most expensive purchases. This means purchasing the right dishwasher can be critical to operating more efficient and minimizing your bottom line.
Certified ENERGY STAR dishwashers average around 40% more energy and water efficiency than standard models. Featuring advanced controls and diagnostics, certified units can greatly increase your kitchens efficiency while lowering long term expenses.
ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwashers can save:
- $5,500 annually and $68,000 over the product lifetime of flight type machines
- $1,300 annually and $16,000 over the product lifetime for other eligible dish machines
- Additionally, ENERGY STAR certified flight type machines can save over 150,000 gallons of water annually.
Equipment such as the Champion DH-6000-VHR high temp dishwasher can do the job right, while saving on energy costs. This unit uses a ventless heat recovery system that recovers and transfers heat and water vapor effectively, reducing the amount of electricity required.
Commercial ovens are a staple in nearly every kitchen. They are workhorses that provide a variety of cooking options. Because they are used throughout the day in most restaurants, energy consumption can be high. Fortunately, there are ENERGY STAR rated models for conventional, convection, and combination ovens.
Certified ovens often include improved insulation, direct-fired gas or infrared burners, and advanced controls. These features are designed to use energy more efficiently. Using ENERGY STAR rated ovens can help increase production and cooking processes, while decreasing long term maintenance expenses.
Per ENERGY STAR, commercial ovens that have earned their rating are about 20% more energy efficient than standard models.
Combination ovens can be on average 30% more energy efficient than standard models. Running a combi oven using the “steam” or “combination” feature can use up a lot of energy and water.
ENERGY STAR certified combination ovens can save:
- $250 (gas) or $740 (electric) annually
- $2,500 (gas) or $7,300 (electric) over the product lifetime
Check out the Blodgett BCT-62-62E electric combi oven for a versatile, energy-efficient combi oven. This unit utilizes Combi Optima, which automatically measures and controls humidity levels in the oven. A SmartChef function selects optimum settings for an effortless cooking process.
ENERGY STAR rated convection ovens can cook foods faster thanks to increased hot air circulation. These certified units average 15% more energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR certified convection ovens can save:
- $70 (electric) or $165 (gas) annually
- $660 (electric) or $1,700 (gas) over the product lifetime
Blodgett provides a high-quality double deck oven with the DFG-100-ES DBL gas convection oven. Insulation at the top, back, sides, and bottom help to prevent heat from escaping for greater energy conservation. This convection oven is very popular for its incredible cooking ability and energy-efficiency.
Through innovative burners and heat exchanger designs, ENERGY STAR certified fryers provide faster cooking times and higher production rates. Insulation for fry pots lowers standby losses, which lowers the rate of idle energy.
ENERGY STAR-qualified standard fryers are up to 30% more energy efficient than standard models. Qualified big vat commercial fryers are up to 35% more energy efficient than non-qualified versions.
ENERGY STAR certified deep fryers can save:
- 120 (electric) or $460 (gas) annually for standard sized fryers
- $185 (electric) or $520 (gas) annually for large vat fryers
- $1,200 (electric) or $4,800 (gas) over the product lifetime for standard fryers
- $1,800 (electric) or $5,400 (gas) over the product lifetime for large vat fryers
The Vulcan 1TR45A 50 lb. gas fryer is an excellent choice for an eco-efficient deep fryer. It conserves energy by operating at an idle temperature level that only consumes 4,318 BTU of power. With the help of a SoftStart ignition system and two configurable melt settings, you can gradually heat up your oil and prolong its life while using less BTUs.
A variety of dishes can be prepared utilizing steam-based methods. Using commercial steamers, you may prepare food without altering its texture while retaining the most nutrients and moisture.
Cooking with steam can yield excellent results. However, generating steam can be energy intensive. Luckily there are many certified models for better energy management.
ENERGY STAR certified commercial steamers can save:
- $1,200 in gas or electricity annually
- An additional $1,100 for water and sewer costs annually— totaling more than $2,300 total savings annually
- $12,000 over the product lifetime (electric and as models, respectively)
Give your kitchen a compact and efficient steamer with the Cleveland SteamChef 22CGT6.1 gas countertop steamer. Using only 10 gallons of water per hour, this countertop unit will steam tasty entrees without wasting any water or energy.
For an incentive to purchase energy efficient equipment, customers can receive valuable instant rebates on qualifying equipment for their business. As a certified commercial food service dealer, Burkett can apply the rebate instantly as a discount directly on your invoice when you purchase qualified equipment in eligible areas.
Currently, 13 states are eligible to receive these Energy Star rebates: California, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington.
To qualify for the extra savings, the item must be installed in one of the states above. An item’s rebate may vary by state, so it’s important to have all the information needed to ensure you receive all possible discounts.
ENERGY STAR cooking equipment offers numerous benefits to restaurants, including energy savings, improved performance, environmental sustainability, and compliance with regulations. By investing in ENERGY STAR labeled products, restaurants can appeal to eco-conscious customers and expand their target markets.
Check out this great resource to learn to operate more eco-friendly, “Save Your Restaurant Money by Going Green.”