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ENERGY STAR® Commercial Food Service Newsletter

Winter 2014
In this issue...

New Guide for Cafes, Restaurants & Institutional Kitchens

The ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafes, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens, previously entitled the ENERGY STAR Guide for Restaurants, has been updated and reorganized to make energy efficiency information more accessible for all sectors of the foodservice industry.

Did you know that food preparation accounts for approximately 35% of the energy consumption of a full-service restaurant? With heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) accounting for 28% of energy consumption, sanitation 18%, lighting 13%, and refrigeration 6%, it is important to think about your entire facility when considering energy efficient equipment. The ENERGY STAR program can help operators easily identify equipment that is more energy efficient, and covers over 65 product categories, including commercial food service equipment and office equipment.

Through the ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafes, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens, operators will learn about ENERGY STAR and other energy efficient food service equipment and how they can save by looking beyond the sticker price of a piece of equipment. The guide also includes tips on how to operate and maintain their kitchen equipment to save energy and water. Operators will also get a better understanding of energy saving equipment options for the rest of their facility, outside of the kitchen.

The ENERGY STAR Guide for Cafes, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens can be downloaded at Hard copies will be made available at in a few weeks. ENERGY STAR commercial food service (CFS) partners are encouraged to link to the guide on their website and distribute the guide to staff, customers and other interested parties.

For those interested in co-branding the guide, please contact

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Food Service Energy & Water Use Survey

You already understand the value of buying ENERGY STAR certified commercial kitchen equipment. But did you know that EPA also certifies buildings? EPA would like to develop an ENERGY STAR energy performance score, and subsequent certification, for restaurants. But the first step requires input from you.

We invite you to take the Food Service Energy and Water Survey. The purpose of the survey is to develop a national data set that EPA can use to develop an ENERGY STAR score, which would allow you to compare the performance of your restaurant(s) against the national, industry-wide average. The highest performing restaurants would also be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. 87% of Americans recognize the ENERGY STAR, so certification would lend credibility to your company’s sustainability efforts.

The Food Service Energy and Water Survey is the result of collaboration between EPA, the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA), the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Alliance, and PG&E's Food Service Technology Center (FSTC). We are looking for as many responses as possible from different types of restaurants, including: full-service restaurants; limited-service restaurants; coffee or beverage shops; educational, military, corporate, or hospital cafeterias; and other formats.

The survey can be accessed at It will be available until February 28, 2014.

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Partner Spotlight - Kessenich's, Ltd.

A picture of Kessenich's Ltd. logo

Kessenich’s Ltd., an ENERGY STAR CFS equipment dealer, is a family-owned business founded in 1929. It remains privately held and is a woman-owned business. The company provides design, layout, work flow, equipment recommendation, and delivery and installation services to many types of kitchen facilities. Its 10,000 square foot retail showroom is open to the public and located in Madison, WI.

Kessenich’s has a successful business strategy focused on energy efficiency. Key element of this strategy are promoting ENERGY STAR certified CFS equipment and being a Trade Ally to Focus on Energy®, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative. Focus on Energy offers a wide range of incentives for commercial kitchens and specifies ENERGY STAR for the following categories: hot food holding cabinets, fryers, refrigerators and freezers, steam cookers, griddles, convection ovens, and combination ovens, a new ENERGY STAR product category. As a Trade Ally, Kessenich’s ensures that equipment purchasers know about available incentives and educates them on the benefits of ENERGY STAR and other energy efficient kitchen equipment.

Kessenich’s promotion of energy-efficient CFS equipment has not only raised Kessenich’s visibility in the marketplace, but increased sales and profits and enhanced the company’s reputation for excellent customer service. Since Kessenich’s began partnering with Focus on Energy in 2006, Kessenich’s has helped customer's complete paperwork to claim over $270,000 in incentives. In addition to partnering with Focus on Energy, Kessenich’s energy efficiency business strategy includes:

• Educating staff on energy-saving commercial kitchen equipment and expanding staff expertise on energy-saving opportunities beyond kitchen equipment (e.g., lighting),
• Educating customers on the cost-saving benefits of ENERGY STAR certified CFS equipment, and
• Making the incentive application process easier for customers, by filling out incentive paperwork in some cases, and walking customers through the process to get incentive.

Kessenich’s and Focus on Energy plan to continue their successful partnership and are proud to be part of Wisconsin’s success in energy conservation. To learn more about Kessenich’s Ltd., visit

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Product Spotlight: Steam Cookers

As stated in the Product Development Update article above, EPA is interested in evaluating an alternate approach to verification testing for CFS products, through an initial assessment project for Steam Cookers. EPA has elected to investigate the possibility of an alternate approach first with Steam Cookers, due to their relative simplicity compared to other CFS products. A webinar was held on December 18, 2013 to provide additional information on the effort for stakeholders that are interested in the pilot.

Image of Commercial Steam CookerCommercial steam cookers are an effective way to batch-cook food, but generating steam is an energy-intensive process. ENERGY STAR certified steam cookers have a sealed cooking cavity that is 60 percent more efficient than a traditional open design system. ENERGY STAR connectionless models also consume 90 percent less water when compared with standard steam cookers. This means that ENERGY STAR certified steam cookers can potentially save operators hundreds of dollars every year!

• $1,100 in gas or electricity annually
• $1,100 for water and sewer costs annually—totaling more than $2,200 annually when you combine water and energy savings
• $11,100-$11,900 over the product lifetime (electric and gas models, respectively)

Commercial steam cookers that have earned the ENERGY STAR may be gas or electric. Eligible models include countertop; wall-mounted; and floor-models mounted on a stand, pedestal, or cabinet-style base. Steam cookers must be 3-pan or larger to qualify for ENERGY STAR and cannot be a combination/hybrid steamer or a pressure steamer. ENERGY STAR steam cookers often have better insulation, improved gaskets, and feature connectionless designs to reduce energy and water consumption. When operating commercial steam cookers, remember to use the timer instead of “manual” mode and reduce idle time. Also make sure to perform regular steam generator maintenance and maintain door gaskets.

For additional details and cost saving tips, see the steam cookers sell sheet available at the ENERGY STAR Training Center. For information about ENERGY STAR certified steam cookers, visit the commercial steam cookers product finder or the list of commercial steam cookers partners.

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Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Key Accounts Workshop

EEI logo

EEI's National Key Accounts Workshop is a customer-oriented program where leading multi-site customers and electric utility account representatives collaborate to develop efficient energy management strategies that can be integrated into facilities nationwide.

ENERGY STAR Program Manager, Una Song, will be attending this year’s EEI Key Accounts Workshop from March 30 - April 1 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. At EEI, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will meet with energy managers and other leaders in the food service industry who are working towards improving energy efficiency in their operations. EPA has ENERGY STAR CFS product updates to share, including the updated Guide for Cafes, Restaurants, and Institutional Kitchens, the updated CFS Incentive Guide, and new marketing materials.

Restaurateurs and utility partners who wish to meet with EPA during this workshop are encouraged to contact

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Emerging Technology Award (ETA) Program Overview

The ENERGY STAR ETA 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.

To be eligible, technologies must be:
• Commercially available, but not widely adopted (<5% market share);
• Offered by more than one supplier;
• Likely to significantly reduce greenhouse gases from the residential or commercial sector at competitive costs;
• Capable of delivering superior environmental performance, as demonstrated by independent third-party organizations;
• Environmentally acceptable (technology use is a net plus for the environment);
• Supported by capable partners with adequate financing and established business records;
• Well matched to EPA/ENERGY STAR competencies and appropriate roles.

Demand Controlled Ventilation
EPA is pleased to announce Demand Control Ventilation (new energy saving technology for commercial kitchens) as a new category for the ENERGY STAR ETA in 2014. The Agency plans to distribute a draft of the proposed criteria shortly with a request for comments.

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

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Product Development Updates

EPA has recently completed a final draft of the ENERGY STAR Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers specification. More information can be found on the ENERGY STAR Product Development webpages accessed at, and detailed updates are provided below.

Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
EPA released the Final Version 3.0 Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers specification on December 19, 2013. Version 3.0 specification will take effect on October 1, 2014. Previous draft proposals, supporting analyses, and stakeholder comments are available on the Product Development website at, when you click on Commercial Refrigerators & Freezers.

Commercial Steamers
As stated in a memo released on November 20, 2013, EPA is interested in evaluating an alternate approach to verification testing for commercial food service (CFS) products, through an initial assessment project for Steam Cookers. EPA has elected to investigate the possibility of an alternate approach first with Steam Cookers due to their relative simplicity compared to other commercial food service products.

As of January 1, 2011, ENERGY STAR products must be certified by an EPA-recognized certification body (CB). Subsets of these products, as well as products qualified prior to January 1, 2011, have also been subject to ENERGY STAR verification testing. The verification testing for CFS equipment presents challenges unique to this industry given the product size, product production, and sales volumes compared to other equipment categories in other industries. Because of these challenges, EPA is considering a different approach to verification testing of CFS equipment involving component level reviews, as is done for safety and sanitation certification purposes.
Stakeholder questions 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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New Promotional Material for Share Your Story

The ENERGY STAR CFS program has new material available to encourage Share Your Story submissions. Consumers care about a restaurant’s or commercial kitchen’s conservation practices and this one-pager highlights how commercial kitchens can share their stories and be recognized by EPA.

EPA encourages organizations that are using ENERGY STAR certified CFS equipment to tell their stories using a 300-500 word submission form (posted to For sharing a story, EPA will send the organization an ENERGY STAR Certificate of Recognition for inspiring others and communicate the recognition on the website and through social media or other vehicles (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and the CFS newsletter). Organizations featured can link from their website to the ENERGY STAR success story page to further promote their story. The first success story from Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is posted here.

Use this one-pager to encourage the kitchen operators you work with to inspire others and get recognized for the work they do to protect the climate. Please contact if you are interested in using this document.

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Look for the next Commercial
Food Service Newsletter this spring!