SJF Ventures portfolio company ENTOUCH Controls provides SaaS-based energy management systems (EMS) for retail and restaurant chains. The company’s ENTOUCH 360°™ service platform integrates turnkey installation, management analytics, and issue ticketing and resolution tracking that detects HVAC maintenance issues, optimizes performance, and lowers energy costs for national chains, franchise owners, schools and offices.
ENTOUCH Controls has demonstrated excellent ROI and energy savings at its retail and restaurant chain customers, which include Chuck E. Cheese, Smashburger, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s and JCPenney.
Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants are known for being a fun family entertainment restaurant with shows, a playground and a host of video games for teens and adults. The energy usage and costs for powering these video games and maintaining comfortable facility temperatures were getting out of hand. Energy costs were one of the company’s largest operating costs.
ENTOUCH Controls installed a wireless, cloud-based energy management system in 104 Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. The EMS provided the company with HVAC controls, branch energy monitoring and lighting controls – all feeding data into a cloud-based management application that facility managers can access anytime or set up automated alerts of excess energy usage or maintenance issues.
Because it measures energy usage in conjunction with HVAC output, the ENTOUCH Controls EMS helped facility managers to uncover issues with rooftop units where the blower motor was constantly running and to determine that games were not being turned off consistently every night. The facilities were also able to see the energy usage impacts of lighting being left on during vacancy periods. All gaming and lighting loads were connected to lighting controls automating their schedules. Management can also now compare sub-load level energy costs per square foot with other restaurants, ensuring that all facilities are running at optimal levels.
Through the HVAC, gaming and lighting optimization, each Chuck E. Cheese facility was able to reduce its energy usage by almost 15% and save $9,829 per year. Additional benefits include more extensive maintenance reviews, recording of video game power data to be used in development of new games, advanced alerting of energy waste and ability to deliver a demand response program that can generate future revenue.
Chuck E. Cheese is now implementing ENTOUCH Controls at all 550 locations, which will save 57 million kilowatt hours and over $7 million each year. This energy savings is equivalent to 96 million pounds of CO2 emissions reduction.