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ENERGY STAR’s Electric Cooktops Category Explained

Save energy and money by choosing ENERGY STAR-certified products, now including electric cooktops.

Induction

With all the challenges foodservice operators face, selecting energy-efficient equipment doesn’t have to be one of them. Tour any foodservice equipment manufacturer’s offerings, and operators may notice a little blue ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR has served as the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency for more than 30 years, certifying both consumer and commercial products.

“Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label meet strict specifications for energy efficiency, which are developed and updated with respect to technology improvements, market trends, annual performance data, and input from manufacturers and stakeholders” says Tanja Crk, who served as product manager at ENERGY STAR before stepping into the role of urban waters federal agency coordinator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in February.

In the Fall of 2023, ENERGY STAR introduced its first-ever commercial electric cooktop specification. Coming in 2024, operators will have access to ENERGY STAR-certified electric cooktops.

Note ENERGY STAR’s counterpart in Canada also offers the category. The EPA, which oversees ENERGY STAR, works with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), along with other stakeholders worldwide.

“ENERGY STAR Canada’s introduction of the latest commercial electric cooktop category is a game-changer for foodservice operators,” says Fritz-Gerald Fadois, chief, ENERGY STAR at NRCan. “This pivotal step highlights the program’s commitment to advancing efficiency standards in commercial settings, where reduced energy costs has a direct impact on the bottom line. For U.S.-based operators managing establishments in Canada, embracing this category ensures consistent energy efficiency practices across borders.”

A Closer Look

ENERGY STAR began posting discussion guides around introducing an electric cooktops category in 2021.

They saw a growing interest in certain parts of the country in reducing carbon footprints, as reported in their Commercial Electric Cooktops Version 1.0 Discussion Guide (released February 24, 2021). Electrification marks one strategy. But because electrification will raise electric loads and capacity needs, to be beneficial, it states, it’s important to offset those increases by ensuring replacement electric technologies are energy efficient.

“Commercial electric cooktops that have earned the ENERGY STAR are approximately 10% more efficient than standard cooktops,” Crk says.

ENERGY STAR®-certified electric cooktops measure about 10% more efficient than standard cooktops.

In its ENERGY STAR Commercial Electric Cooktops specification, ENERGY STAR notes there are multiple variations of the cooking units that can earn certification. Cooktop types include open-coil cooktops, countertop cooktops, heavy-duty ranges, French tops, hot plates and induction cooktops. An electric range can earn certification, too, so long as the cooktop portion of the unit meets the criteria and the electric oven portion is certified to the ENERGY STAR commercial ovens specification currently in effect.

Around the Kitchen

More than 75 types of consumer and commercial-facing products can be ENERGY STAR certified, which “helps to simplify the process of purchasing energy efficient equipment for consumers and businesses,” says Crk. Of those 75 types, 10 categories, including electric cooktops, make up the ENERGY STAR Commercial Food Service Equipment portfolio.

The other categories include refrigerators and freezers, ice makers, dishwashers, ovens, griddles, fryers, steam cookers, hot holding cabinets and coffee brewers.

“Outfitting a commercial kitchen with a suite of commercial foodservice equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR could save an operator about 250 MMBTU/year, or approximately $4,800/year,” Crk says. She says these energy savings would prevent about 30,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Coming Up Next

Going forward, Crk says, ENERGY STAR will continue to increase the number of energy-efficient products made available to operators, helping them save energy and money and reduce their carbon footprint. Plus, ENERGY STAR plays a role in helping dealerships offer operators instant rebates on energy-efficient equipment.

As for the electric cooktop category, Crk says, ENERGY STAR will monitor it over the coming months and years. Stakeholders may provide recommendations on products to include for scope expansion.

Operators looking to stay on top of the electric cooktops category and other foodservice equipment groups may visit energystar.gov/cfs or sign up for the ENERGY STAR newsletter by emailing cfs@energystar.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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