Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency  -  July 13, 2017

Wendy's saves $1M through energy efficiency

A recent push for deeper engagement on energy efficiency led to serious savings at Wendy’s last year.

The famous fast-food restaurant chain says it reduced its energy bill by $1 million in 2016 as a result of remodeling and energy conservation efforts. Upgrades to company-owned Wendy’s restaurants included installing new HVAC systems, more efficient walk-in cooler motors and LED lights, manager of project engineering Scott Moline wrote in a July 12 blog post for the company.

From a 2012 baseline, Wendy’s has reported a 12% reduction in energy per transaction across company-owned restaurants and its headquarters.

In December 2015, the fast-food chain joined the DOE Better Buildings Challenge and set its goal of reducing energy use in its restaurants by 20% by 2025. Based on its results since then, however, Moline said Wendy’s is well on its way to surpassing that target.

The company reported that almost 20% of its restaurants exceeded the 20% energy reduction goal in 2016, nine years ahead of schedule. More than 165 of its restaurants reported at least a 10% reduction, according to the post.

The Dublin Restaurant Support Center, the company’s headquarters located in Dublin, Ohio, lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 24% over the baseline 2013 year by reducing its energy use by 34%.

Additionally, using its franchise business model, Wendy’s also recruited franchises around the country to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge. Thus far, 17 franchisees representing 1,000 locations are participating.

The company expanded this program to its international franchisees by creating the Wendy’s Energy Challenge, modeled after the Better Buildings Challenge, in order to motivate its restaurants around the world to commit to increasing their energy efficiency. The program currently has 18 franchisees representing more than 1,300 restaurants.

In 2016, more than 500 franchise restaurants reported their energy data as part of the Wendy’s Energy Challenge. In their report, Wendy’s says these restaurants saw energy use reductions that saved enough energy to power 540 U.S. homes for a year.

The updated results also follow Wendy’s joining of the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star program in November 2016.

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