A quick and inexpensive way for restaurants to save water and the energy needed to heat water is to install new pre-rinse spray valves in their dishwashing areas, according to the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), a group affiliated with the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Extension.
Restaurants, as a sector, are one of the heavier users of energy per square foot compared to other commercial businesses. Some of that energy is used to heat water for cleaning dishes and washing hands in busy kitchens.
Most commercial kitchens use a pre-rinse spray valve to clean off the food waste before the dishes go into the washing machine. But older pre-rinse spray valves typically use three gallons a minute, versus the newer models that use 1.28 gallons a minute or less. This difference can result in energy and water savings, depending on how often and how long the sprayers are used.
“We’ve estimated that a commercial kitchen switching to an efficient sprayer could save around $400 a year,” said Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs Behavior Change and Metrics Coordinator.
CERTs has partnered with some vendors to offer reduced prices through August 2013 on pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators.
CERTs is a Minnesota organization with a mission to empower communities to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices for their homes, businesses, and local institutions.