With so many different energy bills in a given restaurant, it can be difficult to figure out which items are affecting your electricity bill. According to Al Subbloie, CEO of Budderfly, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC systems) are the biggest energy consumers in the area of quick maintenance.
“Most fast food restaurants generate heat when they cook,” says Subbloie. “Even when you’re not cooking, appliances like refrigerators generate heat all the time. This means that HVAC makes up at least 25 to 30 percent of total energy consumption in a fast food restaurant and can be more than 40 percent. “
Older, outdated HVAC systems exacerbate this problem because models dating back to 10 years ago can be 30 to 40 percent less efficient than modern HVAC systems, says Subbloie. While replacing an HVAC system can be daunting for operators, especially because a new HVAC system costs around $ 25,000 per unit upfront, the energy savings of newer HVAC systems still make them an attractive prospect for restaurants.
Thanks to a recently launched Budderfly program, operators may not have to incur these costs themselves. Instead, they can partner with Budderfly, an Energy Efficiency As a Service or EEaaS company that reduces energy consumption from all sources within a fast operation, including HVAC. They ensure that all customer sites have world-class HVAC systems, including upgrading or replacing existing equipment. Budderfly’s specialized solutions can dramatically increase energy efficiency through dozens of coordinated strategic upgrades while monitoring many aspects of operations.
Rather than charging restaurants for these improvements and services, Budderfly is only using a portion of the money restaurants save on energy bills, which means operators don’t pay anything out of pocket for these upgrades, including new or updated HVAC systems. Budderfly even guarantees a reduction in usage right from the start and throughout the contract period, so customers receive their contracted amount first, before Budderfly uses part of the additional savings to finance HVAC upgrades and other facility improvements.
According to Subbloie, by upgrading and fine-tuning their existing HVAC systems, most restaurants should be able to reduce 20 to 25 percent of their HVAC electricity consumption, which translates into roughly six to eight percent savings on utility bills. For restaurants installing completely new systems, however, Budderfly can reduce this consumption by up to 50 percent, according to Subbloie, which can save 15 to 20 percent of total energy costs.
Aside from the bottom line, Subbloie says that replacing an air conditioner is more than just saving money. According to the US government program ENERGY STARRestaurants use five to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, and fast food restaurants can use up to ten times as much energy. By developing a more energy efficient restaurant, quick service restaurants can adapt to more environmentally conscious values.
“It bothers me economically and it bothers me morally that we have the technology to solve what I would call almost the largest part of the waste of energy, but we don’t do it because of all of the friction points. While Budderfly has balanced the capitalist outcome with the altruistic one, I want to make sure the friction is gone, ”says Subbloie. “We could solve many of the problems we have today, both economically and in terms of global warming – that’s why I built Budderfly.”
To learn more about how you can save on HVAC and other energy bills, visit the Budderfly website.
By Chloe Arrojado