Electric Plug Load Savings Potential of Commercial Foodservice Equipment
July 21, 2021
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
Edward Ruan, Mark Finck, Denis Livchak, Michael Slater, Michael Karsz, David Zabrowski
Frontier Energy, Inc., the operator of the Food Service Technology Center, worked in conjunction with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Silicon Valley Power to study the energy load and energy reduction potential of commercial, unhooded electric plug load foodservice equipment.
This project included a market survey, solicitation of test sites, onsite research at a range of commercial foodservice operations to characterize the daily electrical consumption and use of a variety of plug load kitchen equipment, and analysis of collected data. Energy meters were installed at each of 29 test sites to determine electrical consumption. Where opportunities for energy savings appeared present, researchers swapped the baseline plug load equipment with energy efficient replacements.
The results showed that commercial foodservice plug load equipment has a wide range of energy intensity, based on the operation type and hours. Appliance energy use ranged from 20 kilowatt-hours to less than 1 kilowatt-hour. Energy intensive plug load appliances can use more than 7,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Appliances had varying hours of operation, ranging from as little as five hours per day for soup wells to 24 hours per day for espresso machines.
Cumulative energy savings for all plug load equipment can be substantial. The project identified five categories with the highest potential savings as well as several high-energy consuming categories with no energy efficient alternatives available on the market (as of 2019). Restaurant owners were happy with the equipment replacements and often noted better product quality than the previous equipment, but not all categories can generate sufficient savings to justify the cost of early replacement for an individual restaurant owner.
By demonstrating energy saving potential using innovative energy efficient appliance technologies, the data from this project can be used to accelerate the adoption of advanced energy efficient cooking equipment within the commercial foodservice industry.