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Shari's Cafe & Pies Saves Energy and Money

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Shari’s Café & Pies, the largest full service restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest, has 100 locations across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Wyoming, and Nebraska. With their 24-hour family dining concept, offering all menu items around the clock, Shari’s recognizes the importance of energy efficiency and reducing their impact on the environment.

Shari’s recently shared their story with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was the second restaurant to be recognized through the “Share Your Story" program.

To limit the company’s energy consumption and control costs, Shari’s developed and implemented energy and resource management strategies including the creation of Shari’s Water Energy Efficiency Program (S.W.E.E.P) as well as a holistic sustainability program. Since 2008 Shari’s has seen significant savings as a result of these energy- and water-efficiency programs, with electricity usage down 6 percent, gas usage down 11 percent, and water usage down 18 percent for a total avoided cost of $650,000!

With over 4,000 employees, Shari’s has recognized the importance of incorporating energy, water, and waste management into employee training to increase accountability and help lessen their carbon footprint. In addition to training sessions, each restaurant holds monthly safety meetings where key efficiency topics are covered.

For cost-saving ideas Shari’s used multiple ENERGY STAR resources including the ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafes, Restaurants and Institutional Kitchens, Commercial Kitchen Equipment Savings Calculator and the ENERGY STAR Lighting Options for Restaurants & Commercial Kitchens. Furthermore, Shari’s ensures all replacement equipment is ENERGY STAR certified to help reduce energy usage and total operating costs.

To learn more about Shari’s Café & Pies’ energy and resource management initiatives, visit Shari’s ENERGY STAR success story page and

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Product Spotlight: Commercial Dishwashers

Did you know that dishwashers can be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in the kitchen to operate? ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwashers are on average 40 percent more energy efficient and 40 percent more water efficient than standard models. Depending on product type, savings could add up to $4,100 annually or $49,000 over the lifetime of the machine.

Commercial dishwashers can be found in almost all establishments that use non-disposable dishes, glassware, and utensils including restaurants, cafés, and institutional kitchens. Size requirements for commercial dishwashing machines can be calculated by estimating the number of individuals served by the food service establishment.

The ENERGY STAR Commercial Dishwasher specification covers a wide array of electric high and low temperature stationary rack machines (under-counter; single tank door type; pot, pan, and utensil; and glass-washing) and conveyor machines (rack and rack-less/flight type, single and multiple tank). The ENERGY STAR commercial dishwasher qualified product list boasts over 200 models from 21 unique manufacturers—providing a wide variety of energy- and water-efficient options for restaurant and other commercial kitchen operators to choose from. To view more product-specific benefits and the savings potential for ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwashers download the product fact sheet here.

In addition to using ENERGY STAR certified machines, the following best practices and design features can help to further reduce your energy consumption:

  1. Run fully loaded dish racks through the dish machine. Cutting the number of wash cycles could save you hundreds of dollars annually in energy, water, and chemical charges.
  2. Many conveyors are equipped with sensors that only activate the belt when dishware is present. Enabling this feature can reduce the electricity used by the conveyor motor and prolong their life.
  3. Many dishwashers offer a heat or energy recovery system, which takes the heat energy generated within the machine – and otherwise vented outside – and recycles it to preheat the incoming water supply, further reducing your energy consumption.
  4. Some commercial dishwashers are provided with "energy saver modes", whereby the heating elements are turned off after prolonged inactivity to save electricity. When the operator resumes operation, the machine will quickly get back to the required temperatures.

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If you use an ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwasher in your commercial kitchen or if you sell ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwashers, EPA is interested in hearing your story. For more information, visit

Lists for all ENERGY STAR product categories can be found on the CFS website at and product specific savings can be calculated through the commercial kitchen equipment calculator. For a list of current ENERGY STAR partners visit the ENERGY STAR Partner List.

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Emerging Technology Award: Demand Control Ventilation

The ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award was created to raise the profile of innovative technologies that may not yet meet key principles associated with the ENERGY STAR program (e.g. widely available, cost-effective), but have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions once they are more widely adopted. As products in these categories become more mainstream, the relevant product categories can then become candidates for ENERGY STAR specification development.

Demand Control Ventilation
EPA is pleased to announce Demand Control Ventilation (new energy saving technology for commercial kitchens) as a new category for the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award in 2014. The Agency is currently developing the criteria that technologies would need to meet to receive the Award.

For more information on the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award, visit the website at Specific questions can be directed to Peter Banwell, EPA, at (202) 343-9408 or

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Commercial Ovens Featured in EPA's Official Blog

EPA’s official blog, The ENERGY STAR Current, provides an opportunity for EPA and guest bloggers to share with followers their insights into the world of energy efficiency. In May, EPA’s CFS Program Manager, Una Song, will publish a post highlighting Commercial Convection and Combination Ovens.
To read Una’s entire post and gather new ideas to help save energy in your home, workplace, and community, look for The ENERGY STAR Current at:

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Events: Upcoming & Recent

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National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show 2014
Christopher Kent and Una Song, EPA, and additional ENERGY STAR team members will attend the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show 2014 from May 17-20, 2014 in Chicago, IL. The ENERGY STAR team will visit partners on the show floor to discuss newly certified product offerings and ENERGY STAR collaboration opportunities.

EPA invites partners and stakeholders to schedule individual meetings with ENERGY STAR representatives. Email to schedule a meeting. In addition, EPA will review marketing materials prior to the Show, upon partner request.

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Key Accounts Workshop
Representatives from the ENERGY STAR team attended the Spring 2014 EEI Key Accounts Workshop in early April in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. EEI provides the ENERGY STAR CFS program a great opportunity to engage with energy managers and other food service industry leaders working towards improving energy efficiency in their operations.

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Product Development Updates

Specification Update – Commercial Refrigerators & Freezers
EPA recently completed the final requirements for the ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers specification. The Final Version 3.0 specification was released on December 19, 2013 and will take effect on October 1, 2014. More information, including previous draft proposals, supporting analyses, and stakeholder comments can be found here.

Specification Development – Commercial Coffee Brewers
EPA regularly looks for new opportunities to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by expanding the ENERGY STAR program to new product categories. EPA is interested in product categories that will deliver significant benefits to consumers and the environment. Recently, commercial coffee brewers were identified as a candidate for ENERGY STAR specification development based on their total aggregate potential energy savings and wide distribution across many types of commercial and institutional operations. Coffee brewers represent a significant portion of the plug-load for commercial kitchens, buildings, and other institutional establishments (e.g. office break-rooms and lodging).

On March 10, 2014, EPA launched an effort to develop ENERGY STAR requirements for Commercial Coffee Brewers. Over the next few months, EPA will collect performance data and conduct industry outreach to learn more about coffee brewer products and new, energy efficient technologies. Once a sufficient amount of performance data is assembled, EPA will prepare an initial draft specification for public review and comment. Stakeholders interested in contributing to this specification development process can contact to receive correspondence regarding the commercial coffee brewer specification. Updates on this development effort, including draft specifications and supporting documents, will be made available on the Commercial Coffee Brewer website at:

Stakeholder questions regarding these specification development efforts can be directed to Christopher Kent, EPA, at (202) 343-9046 and or Adam Spitz, ICF International, at (202) 862-1226 and

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CFS Marketing Opportunities for Partners

Are you a partner that works with restaurants and/or institutional kitchens on improving the energy efficiency of their kitchens? Do you make, sell, or incentivize ENERGY STAR CFS equipment, but are unsure how to promote the benefits? The ENERGY STAR CFS program has many materials available to help you. These materials, as well as the ENERGY STAR Partner Mark, can be posted on your organization’s website and/or co-branded when you contact More details about these materials and a best practices example are below.

ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafés, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens
The ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafés, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens provides advice for operators on how they can save energy and reduce maintenance and utility costs by choosing ENERGY STAR certified products for their facility. You can download this guide from the ENERGY STAR CFS website at or order a printed copy through the publications website at

CFS Incentive Guide
The CFS Incentive Guide details the CFS equipment rebates available across the country and provides information about CFS rebates from more than 100 utilities. You can access the CFS Incentive Guide under the buying guidance tab at or download the excel file at

CFS Equipment Lifetime Savings Fact Sheet and Product Sell Sheets
An updated equipment lifetime savings fact sheet summarizing all CFS product categories, as well as individual product fact sheets for each of the eight ENERGY STAR certified CFS categories, is now available. You can access this material on the ENERGY STAR training center at

CFS Best Practices
The ENERGY STAR CFS program has many opportunities for partners to promote their energy efficiency initiatives through use of the Partner Mark in materials and on partner websites. The Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) is one great example of a partner who is committed to energy efficiency education and has showcased ENERGY STAR.
FSTC provides educational resources for saving energy and water on their website and have also included an ENERGY STAR section at This page includes information on each of the eight ENERGY STAR certified product categories for CFS, the Share Your Story recognition opportunity, a link to the ENERGY STAR Product Finder tool, and links to both the CFS Incentive Guide and the ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafés, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens.
As an ENERGY STAR partner, have you utilized CFS materials or customized the Guide for Café’s, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens or fact sheets? Is ENERGY STAR featured on your website so your customers know they will save energy and money? If yes, tell us about it!

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Look for the next Commercial Food Service Newsletter this July!