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E-M:/ Individual Energy Activism, Restaurants

One way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the need for new coal plants is to become more energy efficient. Besides cutting our own energy usage, we can help others to do so. We don't have to wait for State and Federal programs to have an impact.
In the spirit of individual energy activism, we can all encourage and inform others to become more energy efficient. The following is a handout successfully used at local restaurants that don't seem to be efficient. If you know of one, give (or mail) the following to the owner or manager. They will most likely appreciate it and the money they will save.
Happy Holidays,  frank



I was eating in your restaurant and noticed you are not using energy efficient light bulbs. So, I am leaving this information for your attention. (I am concerned about the environment and not a salesperson.)


Thank you, ___________________________


Energy Efficiency for Restaurants

Save $$$ Hundreds per Month


Many restaurant chains in Michigan are saving hundreds of dollars a month in each facility by becoming more energy efficient. They have a cost advantage over other restaurants. Examples include: Bob Evans, Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway, Denny’s and Culver’s. They have switched to efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), T8 fluorescent and LED lighting, more efficient building and water heating, air conditioning, food preparation equipment, motion detectors, recycling and employee training.


One quick and inexpensive way to become more energy efficient is to change from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs. Many restaurants in this area are now using CFLs.  Here are examples of the many benefits of CFLs:


If a restaurant changes just 20, 100W incandescent light bulbs for 20 CFLs, they will save $2,090 over two years (see http://www.newbulbintown.com/calculator/) 


·          CFLs last up to 10,000 hours and none will have to be changed for 2 years assuming they are turned on roughly 80 hours per week.


·          In contrast, incandescent light bulbs last less than 1,000 hours and over 200 will be needed over 2 years. Changing 200 light bulbs is time consuming, costly and sometimes dangerous. (The labor cost of changing these bulbs is included in the above calculation.)


·          20 CFLs will cost about $50.00 and 200 incandescent will cost about $100.00.  Lowe’s and Home Depot sell 5 in a package for around $10.00. Fancier globe shaped CFLs cost around $5.00 each. The above, substantial savings are calculated using $5.00 per bulb.


·          CFLs produce 90% less heat and this lowers air conditioning costs.


Besides saving over $1,000 a year in electric bills, CFLs are good for the environment. Polls have shown that most people in Michigan (including your customers) believe global warming is a very serious threat to mankind and something urgent has to be done. Using CFLs will show that your restaurant is environmentally responsible. Using the calculator above, 20 CFLs will save over 5,900 pounds of coal at an electric plant and 22, 600 pounds of carbon dioxide.


CFLs contain a small bit of mercury, but roughly 4 times less than older fluorescent tubes. Some commentators have blown this out of proportion. Should one break, there is an easy and safe procedure listed in this site.  http://www.newbulbintown.com/about/cfl_break.aspx  It is not a big cleanup problem.


In addition to lighting, the following Energy Star site describes the many other ways a restaurant can become more energy efficient and save considerable money plus the environment.


More:  http://conserve.restaurant.org/docs/ecostory_focus_on_lighting_20081113.pdf

And:  http://www.fypower.org/pdf/BPG_RestaurantEnergyEfficiency.pdf