Spray valves help you save

Despite shutdown, MN restaurants, schools, churches, and more are busy saving water, energy, and money with equipment upgrades

The state might be shut down, but restaurants, churches, cities, schools, and others—from Luverne to Duluth, East Grand Forks to Rochester, Minneapolis to Willmar, and everywhere in between—are busy benefiting from the energy and cost savings of conserving hot water in their kitchens and bathrooms.

For a limited time only, Minnesota businesses and organizations have the opportunity to dramatically cut their water and energy use with simple, inexpensive upgrades. The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and Niagara Conservation are offering a special Minnesota bulk-rate through September 1st for commercial kitchen pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators for kitchen and bathroom washing stations.

Pre-rinse spray valves are used to remove food before placing the dish in the dishwasher or santizer. This pre-rinsing process can consume half of the water used in the entire restaurant. Upgrading to a new energy and water efficient model can cut the costs of this process by 57%, saving over $400 a year. Some restaurants that use their spray valve frequently have been found to save over $700 a year. This is a smart investment with a potential payback of 1-2 months.

“They’re really easy to install. Once you’ve turned the water off, you can simply twist off the old valve, and twist on the new,” describes Tom McCay from Niagara Conservation. “We’re excited to help Minnesotans get on board with the new spray valves. They’ve been very popular.” Niagara Conservation has worked with several other cities in the United States and Canada to deploy thousands of these devices.

To date, more than 100 spray valves have already been ordered as part of the bulk-buy program, as well as nearly 1,500 faucet aerators. So far, Minnesota restaurants, churches, cities, schools, and others are set to collectively save 9.6 million gallons and save nearly $120,000 in heating and water costs just this year.

Restaurants in a recent water- and energy-saving pilot along Lake Street in Minneapolis have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of Niagara Conservation’s spray valve.

“At first we had concerns about the water pressure and were a little skeptical, but we have had absolutely no problems,” explains Lori Valenziano, chef of Lucia’s, a small restaurant café in Minneapolis. “We are very happy that we were approached by our business council with this initiative.”

The latest models of spray valves are designed differently from traditional spray valves, decreasing the amount of water needed to achieve the expected level of water pressure, and the design allows for easy cleaning. Their greatest feature, of course, is the fact that they’ll save restaurant owners, schools, hospitals, churches, and organizations hundreds of dollars a year on their water and energy bills.

Oscar Reyes, owner of Las Mojarras, a growing Mexican restaurant in Minneapolis, has become a new proponent of the spray valves: “I saw a big difference in the water amount that was used with my old spray valve and realized that I don’t need a lot of water. I need good water pressure. The new spray valve has great pressure and gets the job done!”

As energy prices fluctuate, businesses and organizations should become proactive in managing their operating and energy costs. Improving equipment means working with the most up-to-date technology and locking in lower energy prices for years to come.

Faucet aerators, also included in this bulk-buy program, are an even easier upgrade. Not only are they simple to install, but they only cost half a dollar each. The savings, however, are not small—the average Minnesotan can save 21,000 gallons and $180 per year for each aerator replaced. “Faucet aerators are an effective way to save on water and energy usage,” notes Jeff Orvedal, Plant Operations Manager at RiverView Health, the hospital in Crookston. “They are cost-effective and are easy to install. And you certainly can’t complain about their nearly instant payback.”

“These are some of the fastest paybacks I’ve come across,” says Michelle Vigen, CERTs Campaign and Metrics Coordinator. “The new spray valves and aerators are a great and easy way to keep your energy and water costs down. CERTs and Niagara Conservation are excited to offer the new efficient spray valves and aerators at such a deep discount.”

Through September 1st, businesses, organizations, and institutions can sign-up to purchase spray valves and faucet aerators at a special discount rate. Save 60% on spray valves and 75% on faucet aerators by signing up with fellow Minnesotans to save energy and water, and boost their bottom line. Utilities in Minnesota like Minnesota Energy Resources, Austin Utilities, Owatonna Public Utilities, and Rochester Public Utilities are offering additional rebates, reducing the equipment and installation costs even further.

To learn more about the bulk buy and technologies, and to take part, visit http://splash.mncerts.org or see specific resources below.

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