The Challenge

In a quick serve restaurants, there are dozens of energy consuming assets that are critical to the successful operation of the business including HVAC units, kitchen equipment, indoor and outdoor lights. These assets are often required to run throughout the day in order to maintain normal operations and ensure customer comfort, but with a comprehensive energy management system (EMS) in place there are numerous opportunities for savings. As an energy conscious quick serve restaurant, TOMS King deployed GridPoint’s EMS at six initial Burger King restaurants in April 2013. The restaurant operator identified savings opportunities through increased visibility into energy consumption, detailed analysis of trends and issues, and more intelligent control over HVAC and lighting using GridPoint’s EMS. Once GridPoint’s solution proved successful, TOMS King extended it to their entire restaurant portfolio including their many recently-remodeled restaurants in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.


For the initial sites, GridPoint implemented HVAC and lighting controls, installed extensive asset-level submetering and monitored several pieces of equipment as detailed in Figure 1. TOMS King also gained access to GridPoint’s cloud-based software platform, GridPoint Energy Manager, which aggregates and visualizes data collected at each site. Additionally, TOMS King subscribed to GridPoint’s Energy Advisory and Control Support Services to get the most value out of that EMS data while optimizing their fleet of Burger King restaurants.

The Results

TOMS King’s energy savings were driven by several operational improvements including more aggressive, but comfortable HVAC setpoints along with practical temporary adjustment allowances, intelligent morning HVAC recovery and overnight setback, and greater insight into equipment issues with advanced reports and alarms customized for TOMS King restaurants. TOMS King instituted a consistent heating and cooling policy to ensure comfort for guests and more than 2,000 team members. GridPoint recommended a gradual implementation plan, which reduced any perception of abrupt change and allowed for identification of limited exceptions to accommodate unique situations related to building orientation, mechanical system idiosyncrasies, and seasonal variance. For both HVAC and lighting, the GridPoint solution put an end to unnecessary cooling and lighting usage during unoccupied hours. GridPoint also worked with TOMS King to develop a formal process for all heating, cooling and lighting adjustments across their fleet of Burger King restaurants. The GridPoint mobile and desktop applications provide visibility to TOMS King’s Directors of Operations and District Managers along with 24-hour call center support to ensure the energy management program continues to deliver restaurant comfort, operational visibility and energy savings. These tools and policies provide the foundation for continuous commissioning of the facilities and avoids drift away from the goals of the energy management program. In addition, TOMS King lowers energy costs by reduction of consumption and demand peaks using GridPoint’s advanced control strategies. Specifically, HVAC Setback/Recovery and Load Curtailment algorithms, as pictured in Figure 2 below, allow equipment to intelligently approach occupied and unoccupied periods based on automated learning and tolerances established for the program.