Ecova Helps Clients Manage and Reduce High Energy Costs in the Food Sector
Clients like Shari’s, CKE Restaurants and California Pizza Kitchen see major cost and energy savings
Spokane, WA — January 14, 2013 — Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company, today announced its growing presence in the food sector is helping many of the country’s most popular and well-known establishments become more energy efficient while reducing operational costs.
Ecova is carving out a strong presence and reputation in the food sector. Current food industry clients represent 54 percent of casual dining restaurants and 35 percent of quick serve establishments with more than 50 locations in North America – a reflection of a growing trend in the food service industry to reduce energy consumption and cost. Customers have been frequenting restaurant and fast food establishments less often since the economic downturn of 2008, so it is essential that restaurants control and reduce operational costs. Furthermore, restaurants are under greater pressure to act as environmentally responsible as possible.
“Identifying and reducing utility costs is an important part of the process when looking to decrease operational expenses, as utility bills are the third largest budget item for many companies,” said Seth Nesbitt, SVP and General Manager, Marketing & Technology, Ecova. “Ecova helps many clients in the food service industry recognize irregularities in billings, track their energy use trends and identify opportunities for cost and energy use efficiencies. This results in significant savings that impact the bottom line and demonstrate environmental responsibility, which is increasingly important to consumers.”
“Partnering with Ecova has not only helped Shari’s reduce energy expenses and increase profits, but the results have had a positive impact on our brand. We are proud to be an environmentally responsible business, which our customers really appreciate and remember,” said Jodenne Scott, Director of Financial Support Services, Shari’s.
Ecova’s energy management solutions include Utility Expense & Data Management, Energy Supply Management and Sustainability Management. Ecova’s holistic approach has resulted in significant environmental and financial savings for its clients:
- Shari’s, the largest full-service restaurant chain based in the Pacific Northwest, has saved more than $700,000 in utility costs since enlisting Ecova’s energy audit services for its 100 locations. Different billing cycles and rate structures across locations made it difficult to approximate how and where to reduce consumption. Ecova was able to create measurable results which eliminated variable data in order to isolate and compare energy consumption. This data enabled Shari’s to decrease energy consumption, especially water use, and more accurately plan for future expenditures.
- CKE Restaurants, Inc., which owns some of the most popular brands in the quick-service food industry, including Hardees and Carl’s Jr., wanted to reduce its large utility costs when it partnered with Ecova in 2004. With 3,200 locations nationally, it was difficult for the company to identify and efficiently manage energy consumption and cost. Ecova was able to detect the most efficient and highest consuming energy locations and identify ways to get individual restaurants to improve their performance. This has resulted in utility savings of approximately $358,000 between January 2010 and June 2012.
- California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) enlisted Ecova’s help in 2009 after spending a significant amount on utility bills each year across its 250 locations. Ecova compiled an Energy Performance Report that helped identify and prioritize areas for improvement by focusing on the chain’s locations with the highest energy consumption. The data allowed CPK management to work with employees to make behavioral changes that would impact energy use, analyze and make appropriate equipment upgrades. These changes resulted in reducing electricity usage by 4.3 percent in just one year, translating what was once a big unknown into big savings.
Ecova is the total energy and sustainability management company whose sole purpose is to see more, save more, and sustain more for its clients. Using insights based on consumption, cost and carbon footprint data spanning thousands of utilities, hundreds of thousands of business sites and millions of households, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions for saving resources, which in turn increase returns, lower risks, and enhance reputations. Ecova is the largest non-regulated subsidiary of Avista Corp (NYSE: AVA and avistacorp.com). For more information, visit the company’s website at ecova.com, on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ecova, or follow Ecova on Twitter at @ecovainc.