U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Food Service Project Team
Commercial food service operations use 0.9 quads of primary energy per year, about 5% of total commercial use. Cooking accounts for one-quarter of the total delivered energy use in the commercial food service sector and increases the amount of space conditioning required in the building. (Refrigeration, space heating, and water heating each constitute about one-sixth of the total delivered energy of commercial food service; one-tenth of the delivered energy is consumed by lighting.)
The Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) Food Service Project Team members work to improve the efficiency of new food service equipment. Current members, listed below, represent many of the nation's most energy-innovative companies with large-scale food service loads.
If you would like to work on the Food Service Project Team and are a BBA member, email the BBA coordinator. If you are not a member, learn more about joining BBA.
Current Project Team Initiatives
- Helping members with electric water heaters save energy with the BBA Commercial Heat Pump Water Heater specification.
- Heat pump water heaters built according to the BBA specification can reduce water heating energy by 70%, compared with an electric storage water heater. An older, electric resistance water heater operated in a building with a hot water demand of 500 gallons a day, 365 days a year, can cost more than $3,500 each year in electricity costs. A new heat pump water heater that meets the specification would use 70% less energy and could save $12,500 over 5 years.
- If all commercial electric storage water heaters in the United States were replaced with heat pump water heaters per this specification, businesses would save 15 TWh of energy, or about $1.5 billion in energy costs per year.
- Members looking to purchase efficient gas water heaters may wish to procure products that meet the Federal Energy Management Program's efficiency requirements.
- Sharing lessons learned among members through regular meeting and topical webinars.
- Encouraging use of efficient commercial food service equipment.
- Working with EPA to get food service buildings modeled in their Portfolio Manager tool and eligible for ENERGY STAR® Certification.
- Exploring the potential to develop energy assessment and analysis tools for restaurants to discover opportunities for savings via retrofits and operational changes.
- Developing guidance documents, case studies, and a vendor database for implementing Energy Management Systems in restaurants. This is a cross-team effort.
Resources and Past Initiatives
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Food Service Team Members
- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
- Applebee's International, Inc.
- Arby's Restaurant Group
- Army & Air Force Exchange Service
- Boston Market Corp.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
- CKE Restaurants, Inc.
- Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc.
- Harris Teeter Inc.
- McDonald's Corp.
- Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.
- Sonic Corp.
- Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC
- Wawa, Inc.
- Wendy's Quality Supply Chain Coop, Inc.
- Yum! Brands