ACCA Targets Retail Energy Waste

October 5, 2017

Arlington, VA – The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced the release of a new technician's guide and workbook, Maria’s Restaurant, covering the basics for understanding the commercial HVAC system design process, and accompanying online Qtech training.

The commercial food service industry consumes about $10,000,000,000 worth of energy each year, most of which is used for refrigeration, heating and cooling. However, about 30 percent of that energy is wasted due to poor planning and building designs that result in negative airflow issues. These design and airflow issues result in excessive utility bills, employee turnover and customer complaints due to uncomfortable conditions and varying cooking temperatures.

“The restaurant industry uses up to ten times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Much of that energy is simply wasted due to poorly designed and installed HVAC and refrigeration systems and an inability to properly calculate the loads when mixing cooking and comfort,” said Don Langston, ACCA Board Chairman and President & CEO of Aire Rite Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Huntington Beach, CA. “As a commercial contractor, I’ve seen countless system designs that have left restaurant owners with unnecessarily high utility bills. ACCA’s Maria’s Restaurant will help other contractors do what I do in these situations - sell energy. My pitch to restaurant owners is ‘you can try to sell hundreds more sandwiches next month, or you save thousands of dollars on your utility bills by hiring a contractor who follows proper design protocols.’ It’s usually a no brainer.”

Maria’s Restaurant is an important new tool for commercial contractors. ACCA’s new guide, workbook and online Qtech training will help contractors save small business owners significant amounts of money by cutting their energy use,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA President and CEO. “This design book will also useful for business owners, facility managers and restaurant service companies who are looking for a basic overview of the design process and equipment needs for retail outlets. ACCA’s goal is to make their businesses more energy efficient, comfortable, and healthy.”

Much of the nation’s commercial retail space is located in strip malls, thus ACCA designed the guide and workbook to be representative of a typical restaurant that can be found in these spaces. Maria’s Restaurant will also help contractors better understand the design needs of less complicated retail spaces including convenience stores, small grocery stores, salons and barber shops and other outlets typically found in strip malls.

ACCA also created an online Qtech training course for Maria's Restaurant to accompany the guide and workbook and help technicians understand the design basics and how to identify design related issues in the field. The online course is recognized by the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), ESCO Institute, International Code Council (ICC) and North American Technicians Excellence (NATE) for continuing education units. It is available for $99 for ACCA members and includes a PDF version of Maria’s Restaurant. A print copy of the guide and workbook is available through ACCA’s online store for $70.

Download a Word copy
Download a PDF copy

For more information, please contact ACCA’s Director of Industry and External Relations, Todd Washam, at or 703-824-8864.


* * *  

ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community. Our member firms are the nation's most professional contracting businesses, serving residential and commercial customers in every state. With roots stretching back a century, ACCA was incorporated in its present form nearly 50 years ago. Today, ACCA sets the standards for quality comfort systems, provides leading-edge education for contractors and their employees, and fights for the interests of professional contractors throughout the nation. Learn more about ACCA here.