A pilot project has been launched in California to promote energy and water efficiency at restaurants.

The project, designed by Demand Management Installation Services (DMIS) and the Food Service Technology Center, an energy efficiency program for foodservice funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, is now underway with Bridges Restaurant and Bar in the San Francisco area.

To get the ball rolling, Bridges will install ultra-high efficient hybrid tankless water heaters to effectively meet the high demand for hot water at restaurants.

DMIS and FSTC will identify more opportunities to reduce energy and water demands and also reduce wastewater the restaurant generates.

Fifteen percent of all natural gas consumed in California's commercial sector is used solely by commercial kitchens to heat water.

"We've made tremendous strides in residential hot water energy efficiency in recent years, and now we're ready to apply these newer technologies in demanding commercial settings," said Jason Hanleybrown, CEO of DMIS. "Restaurants can't survive without sufficient hot water. We've launched this pilot project to show foodservice establishments that they can save water, energy, and money through well-designed, efficient systems."

This pilot aims to improve efficiency in water heating, water usage, wastewater generation and energy usage. In California the annual operating costs associated with water, wastewater, and energy use of the hot water system can add up to $40,000 in large sit-down restaurants, a significant portion of a restaurant's operating costs.

Hybrid hot water heater manufacturer Eternal donated the equipment for this pilot project. A second project phase will take advantage of low-cost, high-yield water efficiency opportunities such as ensuring that all pre-rinse spray valves are the most efficient available.

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