Golden Corral Stores Expect 8-Month ROI on HVAC Controls

by | May 17, 2011

A Golden Corral restaurant operator expects to save as much as $252,000 a year, with an eight-month ROI, after the installation of Efficient Energy America control systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

Platinum Corral has signed an agreement to install the E2America systems in all 30 of its stores, located in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas. The automated, wireless retrofit system is designed to reduce both gas and electricity costs, usage and carbon emissions.

Platinum Corral’s previous energy initiatives included scheduled and preventative maintenance on HVAC compressors. But the company says it was not seeing significant savings, and was typically paying about $9,000 per store per month for gas and electricity.

The operator says that when it installed E2America systems in five of its restaurants, it immediately saw electricity bills fall by as much as $700 per store per month. The systems are installed directly to existing HVAC units of various brands, ranging in age from one to 25 years.

Platinum Corral says that strictly speaking, it expects to see a return on investment in about 18 months. But federal legislation changes regarding capital expenditures and accelerated depreciation allow the company to write off 100 percent of the balance on its 2011 tax returns, reducing its effective ROI to less than eight months.

E2America worked with Platinum Corral’s utility providers to ensure that the company was able to take advantage of incentive programs offered to businesses that implement energy efficiency measures. Platinum Corral expects to qualify for $5,000 to $8,000 of rebates per store.

“As our electricity costs continued to rise year after year, we knew we needed a more aggressive energy efficiency program to see any significant reduction in our usage and costs,” said Billy Sewell, president of Platinum Corral. “It took us a very short period of time to see the benefits in the five initial stores, and to realize how much more we could be saving by implementing E2America’s system in all 30 of our restaurants.

“What’s more, managers in the first five stores have reported that the temperature consistently feels more balanced, and therefore much more comfortable for our staff and guests,” Sewell added.

E2America says its system is able to ensure maximum thermal comfort in all areas of a commercial building because the technology considers the environment both inside and outside of the building. The system takes into account 19 variables, including external weather data, internal and external humidity, solar heat load and building occupancy, to continually monitor, control and optimize the operation of the building’s HVAC systems.

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