Green Restaurant Tools

A number of websites offer cost calculators to predict energy savings, financial savings and payback periods on everything from CFL bulbs to low-flow pre-wash sprayers. Real world results tend to vary, but the calculators give a fairly accurate idea of what kind of savings you can expect.


These calculators estimate payback, energy, water and money savings. There are two different calculators for some of the kitchen equipment. The Food Service Technology Center calculators are simple, web based calculators that estimate savings over the life of the equipment for a wider range of equipment. The Energy Star calculators are more complex Excel files that give additional information of payback period and air pollution reduction. As with many savings calculators, the two version's results vary slightly. The FSTC calculators are more up-to-date and were created by the people who run the tests to create foodservice equipment efficiency standards and ratings, while the Energy Star calculators are maintained by the DOE and EPA.

Air Curtain 1

Air Curtain 2
Exterior door and drive thru window air curtain savings and payback calculators. Both calculators were created by product manufacturers for their own products, but they return fairly similar numbers for savings and payback.

Lighting Calculator
Energy Star financial savings and payback calculator

Simplified Online Lighting Calculator
Energy Star online financial savings and payback calculator

Commercial Foodservice Equipment: Energy Star
Energy Star savings calculators for fryers, steam cookers, hot food holding cabinets, refrigerators and freezers

Commercial Foodservice Equipment: Food Service Technology Center
FSTC calculators for fryers, griddles, hot food holding cabinets, ice machines, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, steamers and char-broilers

EPA Food Waste Calculator
Excel based calculator created by the EPA that "estimates the cost competitiveness of alternatives to food waste disposal, including source reduction, donation, composting, and recycling of yellow grease."

Ice Maker Calculator
Detailed calculator created by Bill Hoffman for the City of Austin, TX, that shows the cost differences between water-cooled and air-cooled ice makers

Exit Signs
Energy Star financial savings and payback calculator

Energy Unit Conversion Calculators
EIA calculators to convert energy units - Btus to Kilowatts, cubic feet to btus, etc.

Financial Evaluation
Energy Star calculators evaluating energy improvement rates of return, building upgrade assessments, and cash flow opportunities. These are geared more towards companies with large facilities.

Full Kitchen Equipment Upgrade
Energy Star financial calculator that evaluates all the equipment in a single kitchen or multiple kitchens and makes upgrade recommendations based on the results

Greenhouse Gas Equivilency Calculator
EPA calculator that computes greenhouse gas emissions from kilowatt hours or therms

HVAC Calculators (Commercial)
Energy cost calculators for commercial air conditioners, air-cooled coolers, water-cooled coolers, heat pumps and boilers.

Incandescent Bulb Calculator
A calculator to compare the yearly cost of two similar light bulbs with different wattages or life spans.

Motor Decisions Matter
Several calculators to determine costs of energy efficient motors.

Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
Food Service Technology Center calculator for water and monetary savings with low-flow pre-wash sprayers

Watts Up Pro Software
This is a zip file of the software for the now defuct Watts Up Pro energy logger. The meters can still be purchased, but they were never shipped with software CDs.

Spreadsheets, Checklists and Logs

Approved Vendors List
Microsoft Excel file for listing approved/preferred maintenance and repair service reps

DIY Energy and Water Audit
A checklist of energy and water saving measures provided by The Foodservice Technology Center.

Energy Use Tracking Tool
BetterBricks, an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, maintains a energy tracking program that lets a user enter and compare electric and gas energy use.

Equipment Repair Log
MS Excel file for recording repairs on kitchen and facility equipment. Works great for everything from the microwave to the hot water heater and air conditioner. This file can be used independently or in conjunction with the approved vendors list. It is formatted to be 3-hole punched and added to a repair binder. I have had some issues with the formatting spilling onto second pages with different versions of Excel so you may need to make some slight adjustments to the page before it will fit on one page.

Food Waste Log Book
A data sheet provided by LeanPath Inc. for recording and tracking food waste.

Natural Gas Commercial Kitchen Equipment Maintenance
Guide produced by Southern California Gas Company that gives tips on cleaning and maintaining gas equipment for maximum efficiency

Grease Trap Cleaning Schedule
MS Word file

Maintenance Schedule
Very generalized sample maintenance schedule - MS Word file

Waste Audit Form
Form needed to conduct a waste audit - MS Excel file

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