ENERGY STAR Rebates and Utility Savings
Buildings with a commercial kitchen, including restaurants, hotels, schools, and hospitals, consume five to seven times more energy than other commercial buildings1, making it especially important for foodservice operators to know the benefits of purchasing energy-efficient appliances. Looking for equipment with the blue ENERGY STAR logo is a great way to make sure you're investing in money-saving pieces.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program sponsored by the EPA that encourages manufacturers to produce energy-efficient appliances and promotes these products and their benefits to consumers. This program's bright blue logo makes it easy to spot equipment that meet their strict standards. The overall goal of the program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing product features or quality.
ENERGY STAR equipment must go through initial testing, in addition to intermittent off-the-shelf testing, by independent third-party labs to ensure that they remain energy efficient throughout production. Certification is currently available for commercial dishwashers, holding cabinets, fryers, griddles, steamers, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, and water heaters. Each type of commercial equipment has its own set of specifications regarding energy usage and water consumption, where applicable, that it must meet in order to be certified.
Because of the advanced technology used to ensure their energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR certified products often have a higher sticker price than standard commercial appliances, which can be a deterrent to budget-conscious shoppers. However, the difference in price is generally easily recovered over time through utility savings and tax credits.
To get the best idea of how much ENERGY STAR appliances may be able to save you, consider getting an energy audit. Many utility companies offer energy audits for free, and it is well worth the time, as it will show you where most of your energy costs are coming from. That can be an indicator of where to start when you begin purchasing more energy-efficient equipment.
For a general idea of how much energy-efficient appliances may be able to save you, see the table below.
|Equipment||Standard Equipment Energy Use||ENERGY Star Equipment Energy Use||Dollar Savings Per Year|
|2 Door Reach-in Refrigerator||2,533 kW||1,256 kW||$132|
|Gas Convection Oven||829 therms||729 therms||$92|
|Electric Combi Oven||15,739 kW||10,662 kW||$524|
|Gas Fryer||2,281 therms||1,599 therms||$629|
|36-in. Electric Griddle||19,259 kW||17,901 kW||$140|
|36-in. Gas Griddle||2,230 therms||1,228 therms||$1,177|
|Low-Temp, Door-Type Diswasher||39,064 kW||23,000 kW||$1,658|
In addition to the utility savings, working to make your commercial kitchen more energy efficient can pay off in ENERGY STAR rebates. Local utilities often offer rebates on certain ENERGY STAR certified purchases to help mitigate the higher sticker price and encourage the use of energy-efficient appliances. Rebates as high as several thousand dollars are available in some areas. Check to see if your local utility offers this service on the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder.
1. "Commercial Food Service Equipment for Businesses and Operators" ENERGY STAR. Accessed October 2015.
2. Data in this table is taken from ENERGY STAR's savings calculator for food service equipment and calculated based on national average energy prices of $0.1032/kWh and $0.922/therm. Usage is based on 10 operating hours per day, 363 days per year. Fryer figures are based on 350-lb of food per day, griddles figures are based on 200-lb./ day, oven figures are based on 200 lb./day, and dishwasher figures are based on washing 280 racks per day.