About 200 KFC and Pizza Hut locations across North America are going green and saving money, thanks to a New Brunswick-based franchise operator.
Some of the $10,000 in renovations by Franchise Management Inc. will include reducing water use by mixing it with air, said development manager Dak Conklin.
"This is really critical in a lot of our big centres because the water bills, are extremely high. So when we can reduce our water consumption by 50 per cent, we can reduce our water bill by 50 per cent," said Conklin, who works in Woodstock.
Lighting is also being changed to dim when not required, he said.
"That's what is called 'daylight harvesting.' So with the daylight harvesting, what happens is that now these are only working at 10 per cent. When it's bright out, those might be working at 30 per cent. So we've reduced the power and wattage draw by that much again," said Conklin.
Heating up the cookers, which was one of the biggest items on the power bills, is also being addressed.
Turning them all on at once meant charges for that extra power draw. Now, they come on sequentially, he said.
"So that's a big, big savings for us, all by sequencing electronic equipment, so you don't have a peak demand at one time."
Savings cover costs
Another energy sucker was the coolers, said Conklin. The fan would come on every time the door opened because the temperature gauge just measured the overall room temperature.
Now the fan only comes on when the temperature fluctuates, said Conklin who planned the renovations to help the environment and save the company money.
He says the renovations will pay for themselves within a year through cost-savings and the rest is gravy.
"We want to see a reduction [of energy costs] of about 70 per cent from when we started, and when we get to that, we can look at solar panels, wind energy and alternate energy to provide the energy we need to run our stores," said Conklin.
Sara Gray, who manages a KFC in Woodstock, says Conklin has made her a believer.
Even if the technology fails, she says she can intervene to help.
"I know that in order for us to get the energy savings I have to turn on the cookers on 18 minutes apart, so even when it goes down I can get the desired results from it," said Gray.
"It's just a little more of a hassle, cause I have to remember to go back and do it every 18 minutes."