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National Restaurant Association - NRA, EPA team up for industry survey on energy efficiency

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NRA, EPA team up for industry survey on energy efficiency

The National Restaurant Association has partnered with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star division to collect data on restaurants’ energy and water usage that could lead to eventual Energy Star certification for the industry.

To access and participate in the survey, go here.

“We really need to capture this data industry-wide to generate enough information for a potential Energy Star certification,” said Jeff Clark, director for the NRA’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program. “If EPA can develop a certification program, restaurateurs will then be able to hang a sticker or sign on their doors or in their restaurants indicating they are Energy Star- certified and recognized for their reduced energy use.”

“We think this is an exciting and promising project that, through this energy collection survey, could result in the eventual development of an Energy Star 1-100 performance score rating and correlating certification for restaurants,” said Stephanie Plummer, national program manager for Energy Star’s Commercial Buildings Program.

Energy Star, a government-backed, voluntary program administered by the EPA, works with businesses and individuals to help them save energy and money and protect the environment. According to Plummer, Energy Star is the national symbol for environmental protection through energy efficiency and is recognized by more than 85 percent of U.S. households.

“There’s a lot of value in that brand recognition,” she said.

Plummer also noted that the average commercial building wastes approximately 30 percent of the energy it uses just through inefficiencies, “so there are a ton of opportunities to save,” she said. “In fact, if the entire stock of commercial buildings in the United States got together and collectively improved their efficiency by 10 percent, which could actually be done through some simple, inexpensive measures, they could save about $20 billion a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 30 million cars off of the road every year.”

She added that Energy Star already collects energy-use information on and certifies office buildings, hotels, retail stores, K-12 schools, and hospitals and health-care facilities, but not restaurants.

“We have national data sets on these types of buildings, but we don’t have that for restaurants; they just don’t exist,” she said. “Through this survey, we’d want to collect not only energy-use data, but the costs and information on equipment and how it’s being used. That’s really why we need input from the industry.”

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