The ice machine is a standard piece of equipment in restaurants, but it can also be a money drain. Bad filters, age, and even the type of machine can be a cause of inefficiency. Switching your ice machine over to an energy efficient Energy Star machine and adopting energy conscious systems may be a solution to high utility bills in your restaurant.
The Energy Star program, founded in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency, actively encourages the reduction of greenhouse gases by certifying machines that are efficient in both water and energy usage. Originally intended for home appliances, the Energy Star umbrella has spread to include commercial equipment.
For manufacturers, the Energy Star label represents a boon, as inclusion in this field is not merely rubber stamped. With the label comes rebates and other rewards as well as endorsement by a government agency. The general qualifications for Energy Star equipment include: source
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide
- Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
Here is a chart of the exact qualifications that an ice maker must meet to be considered Energy Star Certified.
IMH – Ice Making Heads: This is just the ice maker and the compressor, but it doesn’t have a bin attached. You can see these types of machines in many restaurants.
RCU – Remote Condensing Unit: Everything is separate, including the ice making parts and the compressor. The bin is bought separately.
SCU – Self Contained Unit: The parts are all in one unit, including the ice maker, the compressor and the storage bin. These are often seen in hotel settings.
The largest ice machine makers in the world, including Scotsman Ice, Manitowoc Ice, Ice-O-Matic, and Hoshizaki Ice, have research and development teams at work to make their ice machines more energy and water efficient. All of the brands bring at least one Energy Star Certified ice maker to the table.