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50% Savings in Quick-Service Restaurants

The U.S. Department of Energy and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have released a technical report that provides recommendations on how to achieve 40% - 50% energy savings in quick-service restaurants. PNNL, with help from building industry collaborators and under the direction of DOE’s Building Technologies Program, performed the research, analysis, and documentation that support DOE’s goal of significantly improving the energy efficiency of new and existing commercial buildings across the United States.

Technical Support Document: 50% Energy Savings in Quick Service Restaurants details a package of energy-efficiency measures that cut energy use in fast-food restaurants by 40% - 50% compared to a baseline standard in less than five years. The 50% goal involves reducing site energy usage in all eight U.S. climate zones, relative to buildings constructed to meet minimal code-compliant requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004.

For the analysis, PNNL developed a 2,500-square-foot building model that was based on actual floor plans in prototypical quick-service restaurant design. PNNL used EnergyPlus an energy simulation program, to determine the energy savings provided by the energy-efficiency measures. The prototype building was analyzed in all eight U.S. climate zones that were further divided into 16 representative climate cities. The document establishes the baseline energy use by end-use category in a typical quick-service restaurant and provides the site energy and energy cost savings from implementation of the recommended measures. The document also provides an estimate of the incremental first costs and simple payback years for an energy-efficient quick-service restaurant in various climate locations.

The following energy-efficiency measures helped researchers reach the energy-savings target:
- Ultra-efficient cooking appliances resulted in reduced kitchen exhaust air flow
- Optimized HVAC system configuration to better use dedicated outdoor air system and runaround coil loop heat recovery
- Efficient exterior and interior lighting were used around the building and dimming controls were used in the dining room
- Enhanced insulation, cool roofs, and high-performance window glazing improved the building envelope.

» Download Report Here