Cost Control and Operator ROI with ENERGY STAR

The path to sustainability and energy saving doesn't mean you have to start running off the grid — it can be with a simple step in the right direction. In this episode of "Rock My Restaurant," join show hosts William Bender and Eric Norman as they sit down with Kirsten Hesla, product manager at ENERGY STAR, and Carly Burke, energy efficiency consultant at ICF International, to chat about how ENERGY STAR can take your brand to the next level.

The EPA's ENERGY STAR program is the largest, most successful voluntary energy conservation movement. Anyone familiar with the blue label knows to a certain extent that it means a product was stamped with efficiency approval, but what exactly does that entail?

Every year, ENERGY STAR products go through series of testing and are certified by third parties, signaling that those tools meet the highest standards in quality, performance, and efficiency — everything an operator should be looking for.

"So, that really means they're [operators] getting a high-efficient, high-quality product, and I think that operators who are looking to incorporate those types of products, or want to move to a more sustainable practice, or save money in general, these are the products that have been vetted through rigorous testing," Burke said.

ENERGY STAR also recognizes products through the Emerging Technology Award, which is an honor bestowed upon the best innovative technologies that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, all without sacrificing features or functionality. How can you find these products? On ENERGY STAR's commercial foodservice equipment page, operators can use a product finder tool that allows them to search for specific models or by category. There is even a rebate finder tool that allows buyers to find the best deals in their region.

The program aims to make the choice for sustainability and energy-saving easy. While some operators do not have the time or resources to research the best technology effectively, these ENERGY STAR tools take the guess work out through search engines and blue labels. But efficient products don't just save energy, they also save money.

As far as ROI, ENERGY STAR encourages the idea that they are two price tags associated with all equipment.

"One is the cost at the point of purchase. And second, and most importantly, is the cost of energy to run that product throughout its entire lifetime," Hesla said. "With ENERGY STAR, you know you're getting an efficient product, and your cost of energy over the course of [the] 10, 15 years you have that product, you're going to reap a lot of benefits as far as money."

Watch the full episode now!