Small-town Café Cooks Up Hot Savings Using Energy Trust Incentives

“Installing ENERGY STAR equipment was a total win for our business, employees and customers.”

— Rick VanBeveren

PROJECT PAYBACK

Total Project Cost……………………………$16,500

ENERGY TRUST Incentives……………….$1,800

Reedville Café’s Cost……………………….$14,700

Estimated Annual Savings……………….$3,898.50

Payback……………………………………………3.7 years

Lyn Schmidt administered the Reedville Café project. She is a business development manager with Lockheed Martin, which manages commercial energy-efficiency programs for the Energy Trust of Oregon. The Energy Trust offers cash incentives on full-size gas convection ovens, ENERGY STAR qualified hot food holding cabinets, electric steamers, refrigerators, and freezers.

The Reedville Café has been a gathering place in Hillsboro, Oregon for half of a century. It has come a long way from its origins as “The Shack” by now offering the ambiance of a wholesome American family dining establishment. Along with traditional favorites like burgers and fries, the evolving menu offers salads, pastas, and healthy options. Creative catering and event services are very popular and contribute to Reedville Café’s growing success.

Reedville Café’s growth in the past few years has significantly contributed to its increased energy consumption. In 2005 alone, Reedville Café’s annual gas energy costs were estimated at $28,000. To reduce costs, Reedville Café arranged to work with Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc. on incorporating measures to improve its food service equipment. The Energy Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency to Oregon customers of Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas.

In October 2005, the Energy Trust installed a free prerinse spray valve at Reedville Café. The high-efficiency valve uses just 1.6 gallons of water per minute, compared to three to six gallons with a typical shower pre-rinse sprayer. That difference means an annual savings of about $400 for water, sewer and natural gas for each sprayer; savings on a no-cost initial investment.

In addition to the spray-valve, the Energy Trust provided Reedville Café with a complete list of high-efficiency food service equipment and the available prescriptive and custom incentives. After realizing the savings that the sprayer provided, Reedville Café decided to purchase energy-efficient fryers (Frymaster FFPH355). As a result, Reedville Café installed three new ENERGY STAR qualified gas fryers. These fryers are generating an annual savings of 3,390 therms, or more than $3,800.

The Frymaster FFPH355 has a better filter system that is safer and easier to run, preventing accidental hot oil burns.

The purchase and installation of the three units cost approximately $16,500. The Energy Trust provided a commercial food service equipment cash incentive of $1,800 (11% of project cost). Using 2005 gas rates, the payback period for this project is less than four years.

Rick VanBeveren, the owner of Reedville Café, stated, “Installing ENERGY STAR qualified equipment was a total win for our business, employees and customers.” The new fryers provided noticeable benefits beyond typical energy savings. The Frymaster FFPH355 has a better filter system that is safer and easier to run, preventing accidental hot oil burns. The computerized cook time increases product consistency as it measures internal temperature, reducing customer health risks. In addition, the equipment is on rollers, allowing it to be moved to clean the kitchen floor space.