Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 17, 2006

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
FER's Customer Choice Dealer Awards
For Those Who Took a Long Holiday, Our 2006 Forecasts
NAFEM Index Charts Strong Manufacturer Growth In Third Quarter
NRA Forecasts Strongest Growth In Mountain States, Southeast
Blue Chip Economists Hold 2006 Real GDP Forecast At 3.4%

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
MUFES '06,
Feb. 11-13, 2006

DIFC Changes Name To Unified Brands
Middleby Acquires Oven Maker Alkar
FER's Second Annual Awards Program Gears Up
NSF Puts Out Call For Food Safety Stars
NSF, ILSI And WHO Team Up For Hard Water Conference

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In This Section:
Fed Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Kick In
Outlying Chicago 'Burbs Facing Permanent Water Shortages
California Utilities Team Up For Statewide Energy Rebates
Score-On-The-Door For Chicago?
Iowa Offers Web-Based Inspection Scores

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: FER's Customer Choice Dealer Awards |  Industry ReportSponsor: MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006
Regulatory Report Sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Fed Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Kick In
Want to save some dough in more ways than one? How about saving on taxes and energy costs? Tax credits that were part of the Energy Act signed into law by President Bush in August took effect Jan. 1. Businesses can get a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per sq. ft. for construction or renovation that saves 50% of the heating, cooling, lighting and water heating energy costs for a comparable building. Tackle any one of those categories, and you could get credits of 60 cents per sq. ft. Lighting systems that save 25% in energy costs may be eligible for a credit of 30 cents per sq. ft.

If you want to really get out there, you also can get tax credits for installing solar technology, fuel cells or a micro-turbine to generate your own electricity.

Who knows? In addition to saving energy costs, you might be able to sell excess power back to a local utility.

For more information on qualifying for these credits, visit


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Outlying Chicago 'Burbs Facing Permanent Water Shortages
If water-efficient kitchen equipment has been low on your list of priorities, it may be time to reconsider—especially if the greater-Chicago market of eight million-plus consumers is one of your company's targets.

A recent study warns that water supplies could run out in at least 22 townships in Chicago's outer suburbs by 2020, due to expanding population and development.

In a separate study, researchers from Southern Illinois University's Department of Geography report that statewide water use is projected to increase almost 28% by 2025. They also project that total water use will increase in 89 of the state's 102 counties. Illinois currently uses close to 20 billion gallons of water per day.

"Fragmented, inconsistent and inefficient" water supply management by communities, counties and private companies compounds the problem, said the two-year report by the Campaign for Sensible Growth, Metropolitan Planning Council and Openlands Project. The report was funded by the Joyce Foundation.

Read the full report online at And then go forth and conserve.

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

California Utilities Team Up For Statewide Energy Rebates
It's a beautiful thing when a good idea spreads. To create consistent incentives for operators across California, for the first time in memory the state's major investor-owned utilities—PG&E, SoCal Edison, SoCal Gas and San Diego G&E—are offering nearly identical rebate programs on energy-efficient equipment.

If you're a customer of one of these utilities and purchase new or replacement equipment that meets certain energy-efficient specs, you're eligible for cash back. Rebates range from $75 for a small (less than 19 cu. ft.) commercial solid door refrigerator to $1,000 for an electric combi oven meeting applicable standards. A gas fryer meeting state energy specs could net you a $500 rebate, and an ice machine up to $750.

For more details on the programs, talk with your local utility rep. Examples of the rebates can be found on PG&E's Website at

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Score-On-The-Door For Chicago?
Chicago restaurants would have to post letter-grade health inspection scores near their front doors, if one city lawmaker gets his way.

Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke recently introduced an ordinance that would establish 100 as a perfect score for cleanliness. Violations would be deducted from the total. At the end of an inspection, a letter grade of A, B or C would be posted in the restaurant's front window, "within five feet of the front door," along with a copy of the inspection report.

Three consecutive inspections producing scores of 70 or lower could cause the restaurant to lose its license.

Several California counties and the states of North and South Carolina have already adopted such a system.

"It's a trend that's going on—not only around the country but also around the world, and Chicago ought to be on the front-end of that movement," Burke told a Chicago Sun-Times reporter. "Consumers would appreciate knowing that the restaurants they patronize are being inspected."

The Illinois Restaurant Assocation, however, says the plan can be misleading. "Attempting to reduce complex findings to a single letter or score based on subjective interpretations of an individual inspector gives a false sense of actual sanitation levels," says IRA President Colleen McShane. "Putting a grade by the door is confusing, and could be intimidating."

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Iowa Offers Web-Based Inspection Scores
Old sayings about dirty laundry, glass houses and so on come to mind: Iowa's Department of Inspections and Appeals has put restaurant health inspections online, with one particularly thorny twist: Unlike a lot of states that have begun posting inspection results online, Iowa also is putting the entire inspection on the Web along with the FDA inspection checklist in addition to the score.

The site, called "Informed Dining," was put online in November. Considered user-friendly, with lots of explanatory information, inspections still can be difficult for consumers to decipher and interpret if inspectors' comments aren't in plain English.

Some inspections aren't yet available online, and the state hopes to make them all more readable in the future. To see if your stores' inspections are there, go to

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