EPA Unveils New Energy Star Specifications for Commercial Dishwashers, Ice Machines

On July 31, EPA announced specifications for two new commercial food service products -- dishwashers and ice machines -- that will earn the Energy Star label. More efficient commercial kitchen equipment can save restaurants and food service facilities from 10 percent to 30 percent on commercial kitchen energy consumption.

"Energy efficiency is a top priority among restaurant owners and operators," said Bob Meyers, EPA's principal deputy assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. "We are pleased to deliver more options to save on energy costs and help protect the environment through two new commercial food service products earning the Energy Star."

The specifications cover several types of machines in both categories, requiring them to meet maximum energy and water efficiency savings. Other Energy Star commercial food service products include fryers, steam cookers, hot food holding cabinets, and solid door reach-in refrigerators and freezers.

Restaurant and commercial kitchen owners and operators will be able to purchase Energy Star qualified commercial dishwashers starting Oct.11, 2007, and ice makers starting Jan. 1, 2008. Over the next five years, these new Energy Star products are expected to save restaurants $100 million in reduced energy and water costs. These products will help improve the energy intensity of food service buildings, which consume roughly 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings.

Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. In 2006 alone, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved $14 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 25 million vehicles.

The new specification for commercial dishwashers can be accessed at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_specs.comm_dishwashers.

The new specification for ice machines can be found at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_specs.ice_machines.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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