Purchasing Energy-Efficient Commercial Ovens

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The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for commercial ovens, a product category covered by ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified products or FEMP-designated products in all product categories covered by these programs and in any acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.

FEMP’s acquisition guidance and associated ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements apply to the following commercial, food-grade ovens:

  • Half- and full-size electric convection ovens
  • Full-size gas convection ovens
  • Half- and full-size electric combination ovens with capacities of 5 to 20 pans
  • Half- and full-size gas combination ovens with capacities of 6 pans or more
  • Single- and double-rack gas ovens.

Residential, laboratory, and all other commercial-grade ovens are excluded.

Due to their versatility, ovens are one of the most commonly used types of cooking equipment in commercial food service operations. In the federal sector, locations where they are used include military installations, Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, and penitentiaries.

This acquisition guidance was updated in December 2015.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides commercial oven efficiency levels and product specification information on its ENERGY STAR website. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Get a list of ENERGY STAR-qualified commercial ovens.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save More than $400 by Buying ENERGY STAR

FEMP compared lifetime energy cost savings and the up-front purchase price of several commercial electric and gas convection oven models.

Electric Convection Ovens

For a half-size electric convection oven, the required ENERGY STAR-qualified model saves money if priced no more than $434 above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $469. Table 1 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.

Table 1. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Half-Size Electric Convection Oven Models
Performance Best Available ENERGY STAR Less Efficient
Cooking Energy Efficiency 74% 72% 65%
Idle Energy Rate 0.9 kW 1.0 kW 1.5 kW
Annual Energy Use 3,140 kWh 3,177 kWh 3,638 kWh
Annual Energy Cost $283 $286 $327
Lifetime Energy Cost (12 years) $2,962 $2,997 $3,431
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings $469 $434 ======
View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 1
Performance Column

Cooking Energy Efficiency: Represents the amount of energy absorbed by the food compared to the total energy used by the oven during the cooking process.

Idle Energy Rate: A measure of the energy used by the oven while it is maintaining or holding at a stabilized operating condition or temperature.

Annual Energy Use: Calculated using ASTM F-1496-13 and includes preheat, active, and idle energy used to cook 100 pounds of food per day; assumes a half-size, electric convection oven used an average of eight hours per day, 250 days per year; which is typical for cafeterias in federal facilities that serve two meals per day.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.09/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities throughout the United States.

Lifetime Energy Cost: The sum of the discounted value of annual energy cost and an assumed product life of 12 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis – 2015: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709 (NISTIR 85-3273-30).

Lifetime Energy Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the ENERGY STAR model or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the ENERGY STAR List of Qualified Products. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

ENERGY STAR Model Column

Calculated based on current ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on typical products used in commercial kitchens.

Gas Convection Ovens

For a full-size gas convection oven, the required ENERGY STAR-qualified model saves money if priced no more than $3,141 above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $4,880. Table 2 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.

Table 2. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Full-Size Gas Convection Oven Models
Performance Best Available ENERGY STAR Less Efficient
Cooking Energy Efficiency 53% 45% 30%
Idle Energy Rate 7,180 Btu/h 11,760 Btu/h 18,000 Btu/h
Annual Energy Use 625 therm 850 therm 1,260 therm
Annual Energy Cost $425 $580 $860
Lifetime Energy Cost (12 years) $4,769 $6,508 $9,649
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings $4,880 $3,141 ======
View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 2
Performance Column

Cooking Energy Efficiency: Represents the amount of energy absorbed by the food compared to the total energy used by the oven during the cooking process.

Idle Energy Rate: A measure of the energy used by the oven while it is maintaining or holding at a stabilized operating condition or temperature.

Annual Energy Use: Calculated using ASTM F-1496-13 and includes preheat, active, and idle energy used to cook 200 pounds of food per day; assumes a full-size, gas convection oven used an average of 12 hours per day, 365 days per year; which is typical for kitchens in VA Medical Centers that serve three meals per day.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed natural gas price of $0.68/therm, which is the average natural gas price at federal facilities throughout the United States.

Lifetime Energy Cost: The sum of the discounted value of annual energy cost and an assumed product life of 12 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis – 2015: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709 (NISTIR 85-3273-30).

Lifetime Energy Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the ENERGY STAR model or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the ENERGY STAR List of Qualified Products. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

ENERGY STAR Model Column

Calculated based on current ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on typical products used in commercial kitchens.

Determine When ENERGY STAR Products Are Cost-Effective

An efficient product is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. ENERGY STAR considers up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume ENERGY STAR-qualified products and products that meet FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective. In high-use applications or when energy rates are above the federal average, purchasers may save more if they specify products that exceed federal efficiency requirements (e.g., the best available model).

Commercial Kitchen Equipment Cost Calculator

Users who wish to determine a product’s cost-effectiveness for their application may do so using the Savings Calculator for ENERGY STAR Certified Commercial Kitchen Equipment.

Claim an Exception to Federal Purchasing Requirements

Products meeting ENERGY STAR or FEMP-designated efficiency requirements may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications or in locations with very low rates for electricity or natural gas. However, for most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost.

Agencies may claim an exception to federal purchasing requirements through a written finding that no FEMP-designated or ENERGY STAR-qualified product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Learn more about federal product purchasing requirements.

Incorporate Federal Acquisition Regulation Language in Contracts

These mandatory requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide and project specifications; renovation, repair, energy service, and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 into contracts and solicitations that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products for use in federal government facilities. To comply with FAR requirements, FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into technical specifications, the evaluation criteria of solicitations, and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Find Federal Supply Sources

The federal supply sources for energy-efficient products are the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules program and online shopping network, GSA Advantage!. DLA offers products through the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and online through DOD EMALL. Products sold through DLA are codified with a 13-digit National Stock Number (NSN) and, in some cases, a two-letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). The ENAC identifies items that have positive environmental characteristics and meet standards set by an approved third party, such as FEMP and ENERGY STAR.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for e-commerce. It contains more than 50,000 commodities, including many used in the federal sector, each with a unique eight-digit, four-level identification code. Manufacturers and vendors are beginning to adopt the UNSPSC classification convention and electronic procurement systems are beginning to include UNSPSC tracking in their software packages. UNSPSCs can help the federal acquisition community identify product categories covered by sustainable acquisition requirements, track purchases of products within those categories, and report on progress toward meeting sustainable acquisition goals. FEMP has developed a table of ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated covered product categories and related UNSPSC numbers.

Commercial Oven Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers energy-efficient commercial ovens through Schedule 73 (Food Service).

The UNSPSC for commercial ovens is 48101517.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

When buying commercial ovens, specify or select products with capacities matched to their production requirements. Oversized products will increase initial cost and lead to higher operating expenses due to additional energy losses.

Features to look for when buying energy-efficient commercial ovens include forced-convection, infrared burners (in gas models), quartz-halogen cooking elements (in electric models), added insulation, improved gaskets, and advanced controls. In addition to saving energy, these features also increase production capacity, cook food products more uniformly, and improve kitchen comfort (due to less heat loss into the surrounding space).

Many states and electric utilities offer rebates or other incentives for the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Use the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder to see if your local utility offers these incentives. FEMP’s Energy Incentive Program helps federal agencies take advantage of these incentives by providing information about the funding-program opportunities available in each state.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

Energy consumption in commercial ovens can be broken down into three components: preheat, cooking (including restore), and idle. Of these, idle energy (that consumed when the oven is turned on and at the set-point temperature without a food load) does not contribute to cooking production or food quality so should be minimized.

Due to improved insulation and door gaskets, efficient ovens preheat more quickly than conventional models. For ovens with extended periods between cooking loads, it may save energy to turn them off during idle periods and then back on when needed. Understanding how ovens operate (e.g., how long to preheat) and how they are used in food service operations (e.g., time between food loads) allows for the implementation of start-up/shut-down schedules that minimize idle energy use.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provided supporting analysis for this acquisition guidance.