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The original item was published from 9/27/2011 11:37:29 AM to 10/2/2011 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: September 27, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Make a Splash with the Water Saving Bulk Buy

Apple Valley 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 bulk rates

Through October 1st, Apple Valley 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 for commercial kitchen pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators for commercial kitchens and bathroom washing stations.

To date, nearly 150 spray valves have been ordered as part of the bulk-buy program, as well as nearly 2,000 faucet aerators. This means that Minnesota restaurants, churches, cities, schools, and others are set to collectively save 13.4 million gallons of water and save nearly $175,000 in heating and water costs in the next year.

Pre-rinse spray valves are used to remove food before placing the dish in the dishwasher or sanitizer. 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.

Pre-Rinse Spray Valves (typically $68) cost $28 with the CERTs bulk buy, and are brought down even further to an average of $13 in areas where a utility rebate is offered. Currently rebates are provided by CenterPoint Energy, Minnesota Energy Resources, Austin Utilities, Owatonna Public Utilities, and Rochester Public Utilities. Typical energy and water savings for a restaurant are $400 per year, oftentimes resulting in a one-month payback with a rebate. It doesn't get any better than that! Utility rebates can be seen at

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 October 1st, businesses, organizations, and institutions in Apple Valley 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 your bottom line. Participants can order as many (or as little) spray valves and aerators as they need.

To learn more about the bulk buy and technologies, and to take part, visit .

More resources:
- Program brochure:
- List and map of participants:
- Media kit with graphics and details:
- Utility rebates:

The Water-Saving Bulk Buy is the seventh in a series of "CERTified Campaigns" from the Clean Energy Resource Teams to provide Minnesotans with clear and actionable ways to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their community. To learn about other campaigns, visit .

The Clean Energy Resource Teams connect Minnesotans with resources to identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. CERTs is a partnership of the University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Eureka Recycling, Southwest Regional Development Commission, The Minnesota Project, and the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources, Department of Commerce.

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