Arby’s Turns Blue into Gold: Saving Water and Money with Comprehensive Irrigation Management

Paul Kuck

With water prices increasing steadily—an average of 40 percent across industry verticals since 2008, according to a recent analysis of Ecova data—Arby’s knew that better water management was key to meeting their energy and cost savings goals. But limited insight into facility irrigation made identifying the best strategy for reducing water consumption difficult. By integrating the Weathermatic irrigation control system into their existing energy management system, SiteSage by Powerhouse Dynamics, across 85 pilot sites, Arby’s was able to achieve a 7,400,000 gallon reduction within one year while developing an integrated platform to manage consumption moving forward.

Weathermatic is a connected system that offers an online platform to monitor and manage the irrigation system. SiteSage is an asset and energy management platform developed by Powerhouse Dynamics that Arby’s had already implemented across its more than 1,000 company-owned sites. The ultimate goal was to integrate the Weathermatic system into the SiteSage platform for one view into energy and water data – to the benefit of all companies.

Building on their past success reducing energy use with Ecova’s Expense & Data Management and Blueprint™ Framework, Arby’s partnered with Ecova to find a solution for actively managing water consumption. Ecova first audited five Arby’s sites to identify water- and cost-saving opportunities. While potential efficiencies were discovered, they learned that irrigation generates an average of 40 percent of Arby’s total water consumption—leading to a new focus on irrigation controls. Additionally, Arby’s discussions with restaurant management emphasized the importance of offering a single online platform for visibility into monitoring and managing sites.

Effective system integration was key to this pilot’s success. Weathermatic was selected for its ability to yield insight into usage or control of irrigation usage, which can be difficult to obtain when this process is managed by outside landscapers. Arby’s SiteSage platform, meanwhile, enables asset and energy management across commercial portfolios. Ecova, Weathermatic, and Powerhouse worked together to identify key data to bring into SiteSage from the Weathermatic system, providing Arby’s with an integrated, user-friendly platform for managing energy and water consumption.

This solution yielded fast, measurable results:

  • Arby’s reduced its water consumption across the pilot sites by 7,400,000 gallons—enough water to fill more than 11 Olympic-sized pools
  • Pilot sites saw a 40-70 percent reduction in irrigation, leading to an average 25 percent reduction in water consumption per site
  • Cost savings were also significant, with each site saving an average of $1,150 annually in water and sewer charges

Companies typically prefer a single, online platform, greatly simplifying using systems from multiple providers. SiteSage by Powerhouse Dynamics provides a unifying platform for critical equipment management in small commercial facilities. The solution provided by SiteSage and Weathermatic is unique in that combined energy, asset, and water management had not been available prior to this project. The combined SiteSage-Weathermatic offering delivers a comprehensive solution as a single platform to improve operating efficiencies and control water and energy consumption.

Arby’s, an industry leader in energy and water efficiency, understood the importance of visibility and control in ensuring sustainable management and outlier identification across their portfolio. By choosing leading technology providers Powerhouse Dynamics and Weathermatic, along with leading energy and sustainability management solution provider Ecova, their integrated approach will drive powerful results for years to come.

Watch our webinar, “Blue is the New Gold: What You Need to Know About Sustainable Water Management,” to learn how to make a positive impact on the way your water is managed and used while minimizing the effect of rising water costs.

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