Refrigeration equipment is a large source of electricity consumption and peak demand for many small businesses like restaurants, grocery & convenience stores, bars, large institutions with foodservice facilities, laboratories, and cold storage facilities.
Considering retrofitting components of your walk-in cooler or refrigeration controls? Contact us today to chat about your custom project.
Businesses with kitchens such as restaurants, bars, and institutions with foodservice facilities have several large sources of electricity consumption that result in high bills. Learn how purchasing decisions, equipment controls, and behavioral changes can help your bottom line by reducing demand charges and daily energy use.
Reducing Refrigeration Energy Usage
Cooking, dishwashing, and ventilation equipment in commercial kitchens can contribute greatly to your business’ electricity bill.
- Save right away by replacing and/or recycling used and legacy refrigeration equipment. Used equipment may seem attractive as it may be less expensive, but life cycle costs for second-hand equipment can be surprisingly high.
- Older walk-in equipment is often uninsulated, poorly sealed, and has minimal controls of evaporator fan motors, which cause compressor equipment to run more often.
- Older commercial fridges, freezers, and beverage coolers may not be ENERGY STAR rated, can have refrigerant leaks, and often have failing door seals, all of which contribute to higher bills.
- Older equipment often uses more power when it cycles on, leading to higher demand charges on your electric bill if you are on BED’s Large General (LG) rate.
- Reconsider using free promotional drink coolers, as they are notoriously inefficient and cycle often, increasing your electric demand and usage charges.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Frost build up more than one-quarter of an inch will noticeably impact energy use.
- If you have a walk-in cooler or freezer, that equipment is the largest source of your base load, the electricity used when your business is closed. Check refrigerant levels routinely and properly charge your system. Maintain walk-ins regularly to keep coils clean and keep compressors running efficiently.
- Clean exterior equipment yourself by periodically brushing off condenser coils and vacuuming behind and underneath units to prevent build-up of particulates. Dirty coils require refrigeration equipment to work harder and use more energy. Comb coils if more than one square inch is damaged to improve heat transfer.
- Keep refrigerators, freezers, beverage coolers, and walk-ins full. When stock is low, consolidate food into fewer, fuller pieces of refrigeration equipment.
- Ensure your refrigerator, freezer, and/or walk-in door(s) close completely and that seals are intact to reduce cold air leaking out and causing compressors to run more often.
- Keep your equipment set to energy-efficient temperatures to avoid high bills.
- Always check food safety requirements for storage temperatures required for compliance with regulations.
- Set refrigerators to 37 – 40˚F so they can work at peak efficiency; set freezers to 0 – 5˚F.
- Keeping temperature ranges 10 degrees lower than recommended can increase energy usage by as much as 25%.
- If you have an ice maker, see if it has a bin level sensor or “Eco” mode, and use these functions when you need less ice or would like to ramp down the power used to produce ice.
- Monitor your refrigeration equipment. Check for leaks, verify temperature, and understand when compressor and evaporator equipment is kicking on by installing sensing equipment to understand if temperatures are out of range, and how refrigeration systems are affecting your bills.
- If you want help with refrigerant leak detection or other monitoring of your refrigeration systems, contact BED Energy Services to get technical assistance and discuss potential efficiency projects to buy down sensor costs.
Discounted New Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
New! Instant Discounts for Commercial Energy Star Refrigeration Equipment
Effective June 15, 2020, BED Energy Services is offering our commercial customers several new instant discounts that can make upgrading refrigeration equipment even less expensive. Get instant discounts on qualifying efficient electric refrigerators, freezers, and ice makers at these participating distributors:
As part of BED’s Green Stimulus, BED Energy Services can offer our commercial customers several new services that can make upgrading refrigeration equipment even less expensive:
- On-bill financing with zero interest loans on energy efficiency projects with neutral or positive cash flow on day one.
- Increased incentive dollars for custom energy savings projects like refrigeration equipment retrofits and motor controls projects.
Purchasing High Performance Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
BED is here to help you purchase new and efficient refrigeration equipment by offering a variety of instant discounts, rebates, and custom financial incentive programs for your business.
Contact the BED Energy Services team to get help for your specific project.
Refrigerators, Freezers & Beverage Coolers
Refrigeration can account for 5 – 15% of the energy consumption of restaurants and foodservice businesses. Learn more about selecting the right refrigeration equipment for your commercial kitchen from the U.S. Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR®.
When buying a new commercial refrigerator, freezer, or beverage cooler, look for an ENERGY STAR-certified model. Certified ENERGY STAR equipment uses 15% less energy than non-qualified models. If you have a fridge that was manufactured before 2001, a new ENERGY STAR fridge would run 40% more efficiently.
- Receive instant discounts of $200 – $400 when you purchase a new qualifying commercial refrigerator, freezer, or beverage cooler for your business from participating distributors.
- Get an extra $100 if you purchase equipment that uses natural refrigerants, which have lower global warming potential than conventional refrigerants.
Ice makers serving restaurants and foodservice businesses can cost hundreds of dollars a year to run.
When purchasing a new ice maker, ice making head, or remote condensing unit choose an ENERGY STAR-certified unit to save hundreds a year on your electricity bill.
- Receive instant discounts of $100 – $500 when you purchase a new qualifying ice making equipment for your business from participating distributors.
- Self-contained Units: $100 (continuous units only, no batch units)
- Ice Making Head: $200
- Remote Condensing Unit: $500
Walk-in Coolers & Freezers
Refrigeration is the primary source of electricity usage your business if you have a walk-in. Replacing the components of your walk-in cooler or freezer system with new energy-efficient equipment can help you reduce your bills, improve equipment performance, and enhance reliability.
High Efficiency Evaporator Equipment
High efficiency evaporator equipment incorporates controls strategies that save energy and money year-round.
Equipment qualified to receive rebates are medium- and low-temperature evaporator equipment with fan motors ≤1/15 horsepower that contain two or more of the following components:
- EC motors that are more efficient than traditional motors
- Integrated motor controls which reduce runtime and/or power of evaporator fans
- Electronic Expansion Valves (EEVs) that regulate temperature and flow of refrigerant to reduce load on compressor
- Integrated controls which optimize defrost to reduce cycling when not necessary
Save hundreds of dollars a year on your electric bill by replacing older evaporator fan equipment today.
- Receive instant discounts of up to $1,500 ($150 – $250 per evaporator fan) when you purchase equipment through participating distributors.
- Burlington Electric Department partners with Efficiency Vermont on this program to maintain the list of qualifying high efficiency evaporator fan products.
- Certified distributors
High Efficiency Condensing Units
High efficiency condensing equipment saves energy in cooler weather increasing equipment life and saving money on energy costs. They also have more robust, efficient components that last longer and save money even on hot days. Receive instant discounts of up to $600 – $1,200 when you purchase equipment through participating distributors.
Doors on refrigerated cases not only save energy, but also extend the shelf life of food and enhance the appearance of displayed products. Receive $200 cash back per linear foot when you add doors to your open refrigerated cases.
Refrigeration Retrofit Programs
Control your existing refrigeration system components better to lower your bills without replacing equipment. Retrofit your existing refrigeration equipment to include new components and controls features that meet your needs while using less power than before.
To get started with a custom controls project, contact the BED Energy Services team to get free technical advice and estimated custom financial incentives for energy efficiency projects such as:
- Building or expanding your own walk-in cooler or freezer
- Insulating existing walk-in coolers or freezers
- Adding new doors to existing walk-in equipment
- Transitioning away from Cool-Bot air conditioners for your walk-in cooler
- Installing a centralized glycol system to replace refrigeration equipment
Q Sync Motors
Change out your existing walk-in’s evaporator fan motors for quieter, simpler and 80% more efficient Q Sync motors. Receive $60 – $100 cash back per motor when you replace your evaporator fan motors with Q sync motors.
Evaporator Fan Motor Controls
Evaporator fan motor controls enable fans only when your compressor is operating. If you have at least four evaporator fans, a controls project will likely be cost-effective. Receive instant discount of $30 per evaporator fan for adding controls to your walk-in evaporator fans.
Floating Head Pressure Controls
Floating head pressure controls save you money cost-effectively by reducing power consumption when your refrigeration system operates in cooler outdoor air temperatures. Receive $300 cash back per compressor controller that are for medium- and low-temperature condenser equipment with motors less than 10 horsepower with controller condensing temperature set to 70°F.
Door Frame Heater Controls
Many refrigerator and freezer doors use electric heaters to minimize fogging of glass displays and can use a lot of energy if they are used year-round. Humidity-based controls enable these heaters only when needed to save you money in colder months when humidity is lower. Receive $50 cash back per door controller when add humidity controls to door frame heaters.
Refrigerated Case Light Sensors
Save money by controlling case lighting to enable only when your customers are there. Receive $30 cash back per sensor when you connect at least three refrigerated case doors to light sensors.
Refrigerant Leak Detection and Repair Program
NEW! BED will cover 80% of the service costs for refrigerant leak detection and repair.
Preventative leak detection and repair improves equipment reliability, reduces refrigerant expenses, and increases energy efficiency while mitigating the environmental impact of refrigerant leaks. While you save money on your bill, help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with your refrigeration system. Did you know that one pound of leaked refrigerant is equivalent to about 2,500 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
- Receive 80% of service costs as cash back when you work with a qualified contractor to identify and repair refrigerant leaks in systems with compressor motors smaller than 15 horsepower.
- BED incentive does not include costs for refrigerant charge or large component replacement.
- For larger sites, please contact BED Energy Services about a custom project.
- Customers can receive refrigerant leak repair rebates up to 2 times per business location per calendar year.