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EcoEnergy Insights

15% Reduction in Energy Consumption for American West Restaurant Group

What the Judges Said…
“Implementing any project in 306 locations can be a complicated endeavor, and a 15% energy reduction in 18 months is very impressive. The project team was right to focus on restaurants consuming the highest energy first.”

American West Restaurant Group (AWRG), one of the largest franchisees of Pizza Hut, has a network of over 300 pizza restaurants in Southern California and Utah. They had set a goal in 2015 to reduce energy usage by 15% by 2018 over a 2014 baseline consumption. To help achieve this goal, AWRG partnered with EcoEnergy Insights in 2015. The project involved advanced analytics and controls-based savings strategies of the group’s electromechanical assets. EcoEnergy Insights ensured that all lighting, kitchen, and HVAC assets in each restaurant would operate in ways that maximize energy savings without affecting store comfort.

EcoEnergy Insights took a phased approach to assessing the restaurants, defining a strategy, customizing, piloting, and implementing the solution as well as managing the energy performance and operations. It was implemented in three waves. The first wave implemented controls-based savings strategies across all the restaurants. The second wave equipped electromechanical assets in every restaurant with EcoEnergy Insights’ big data analytics platform to collect time series data. The platform automatically aggregates data and correlates the same with external data sources like weather feeds, guest count, sales, and utility data to detect deviations. Dedicated teams acted on the deviations and provided additional savings.

For the third wave, longer-term data is analyzed by the platform to identify the effectiveness of saving strategies and to unlock new ways of saving energy. That can include crew operational improvement, high cap-ex-led retrofits, and demand reduction.

Over the last two years, EcoEnergy Insights has saved AWRG approximately 3 million kilowatt hours at a 15% reduction in energy consumption over a baseline of 2014. Higher attention was paid to the restaurants that consume higher energy as compared to the baseline year. Negative savings restaurants have been reduced to the point where they make up just 10% of the total. Unoccupied load and high consumption during lean service windows have been another area of focus for the project. For approximately 90% of the restaurants, the unoccupied load in kilowatts has been reduced by 90%.

Performance of HVAC, kitchen, and refrigeration equipment is continuously monitored to address inefficient assets and improve the RTU performance by around 30%; the zone temperature compliance was improved by around 40% and the proofer performance by approximately 10%. Monitoring also helps reduce the door opening of the walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer by around 30%.

In September 2017, AWRG reported that its restaurants reduced energy usage by 18% over their 2015 baseline. Based on these results and the plans to achieve their revised energy savings target by 2020, the group included another 200 restaurants in the program.

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