One company tackles HVAC’s costs without up-front fees for operators.

With so many different energy costs in any given restaurant, figuring out which items are driving the utility bill can be difficult. But in general, Budderfly CEO Al Subbloie says heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC systems) are the biggest energy users in the quick-service space.

“Most quick-service restaurants create heat when they cook,” Subbloie says. “Even if you’re not cooking, equipment such as refrigerators are constantly creating heat. This means that HVAC accounts for 25 to 30 percent of the overall energy use in a quick-service restaurant at a minimum, and it could be more than 40 percent.”

Older, out-of-date HVAC systems compound this problem as models from even just 10 years ago can be anywhere from 30 to 40 percent less efficient than contemporary HVAC systems, Subbloie says. While replacing an HVAC system can be daunting for operators, especially because a new HVAC system costs around $25,000 per unit in up-front out-of-pocket costs, newer HVAC systems’ energy savings still make them an attractive prospect for restaurants.

But thanks to a recently introduced Budderfly program, operators may not have to spend any of these costs themselves. Instead, they can partner with Budderfly, an Energy Efficiency as a Service—or EEaaS company—which reduces energy usage from all sources inside a quick-service operation, including HVAC. They ensure that all their client locations have top-of-the-line HVAC systems, including upgrading or replacing existing equipment. Budderfly’s specialized solutions can greatly increase energy efficiency through dozens of coordinated strategic upgrades while monitoring many aspects of operations.

Best of all, rather than charging restaurants for these improvements and services, Budderfly simply uses a portion of the money restaurants save on energy costs, meaning operators pay nothing out of pocket for these upgrades, including new or upgraded HVAC systems. Budderfly even guarantees a level of usage reduction from the start and throughout their contract period, so their clients receive their contracted amount first, before Budderfly uses a portion of the additional savings to fund HVAC upgrades and other facility improvements.

By upgrading and fine-tuning their existing HVAC systems, Subbloie says most restaurants should be able to reduce 20 to 25 percent of their HVAC electrical usage, which roughly translates to a six to eight percent savings on their utility bill. However, for restaurants that install completely new systems, Subbloie says Budderfly can reduce this usage up to 50 percent, which can save anywhere from 15 to 20 percent on the total energy bill.

But bottom line aside, Subbloie says replacing an HVAC is more than just saving money. According to U.S. government program ENERGY STAR, restaurants use anywhere from five to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, and for quick-service restaurants this figure can reach up to 10 times. By becoming a more energy-efficient restaurant, quick-service restaurants can align with more environmentally conscious values.

“It bothers me economically and it bothers me morally that we have the technology to solve what I would call almost the biggest portion of energy waste, yet we don’t because of all the friction points. While Budderfly has aligned the capitalistic outcome of doing this with the altruistic one, I want to make sure the friction is gone,” Subbloie says. “We could solve a lot of the problems that we have today both economically and in terms of global warming—that’s why I’ve built Budderfly.”

To learn more about how you can save on HVAC and other energy expenses, visit the Budderfly website.

By Chloe Arrojado

Sponsored Content