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Covered Product Category: Commercial Griddles

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for commercial griddles, which is a product category covered by the ENERGY STAR program. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies meet these efficiency requirements in all procurement and acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.

Meeting Energy Efficiency Requirements for Commercial Griddles

ENERGY STAR sets efficiency requirements for commercial griddles in its product specification. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Visit the ENERGY STAR website for the most up-to-date commercial griddle efficiency levels and product specification information, and a list of qualified griddles.

Defining the Product Category

This product overview and associated ENERGY STAR product specifications apply to commercial grade, thermostatically controlled, single- or double-sided, gas and electric griddles. Manually controlled griddles and fry-top ranges are not covered.

Griddles are one of the most common types of commercial kitchen equipment. In the Federal sector, these products are typically used in food service operations like cafeterias in GSA buildings, kitchens in penitentiaries, and commissaries on military bases.

Federal supply sources for commercial griddles are the General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules and online shopping network, GSA Advantage! DLA offers products through DOD EMALL. Products sold through DLA are codified with 13-digit National Stock Numbers (NSN) and, in some cases, a two letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). When buying commercial griddles through DLA sources, look for models with the ENAC "JM" attached to the end of the NSN.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for use in eCommerce. It contains over 50,000 commodities, including many used in the Federal sector, each having a unique eight-digit identification code. Using the UNSPSCs will assist buyers with identifying covered product categories and improving record keeping. The UNSPSC for commercial griddles is 48101511.

Reducing Energy Costs: Save $800 When You Buy Energy Star-Qualified Products

FEMP calculated1 that the required ENERGY STAR–qualified product is cost-effective if priced no more than $800 above the less efficient model. The most efficient level saves the average user more money: $1,820. The complete cost-effectiveness example and associated assumptions are provided in Table 1.

Table 1. Lifetime Savings for Gas Griddles
Performance Best Availablea Model Required Model Less Efficient Model
Idle Energy Rate 1,464 watts 1,920 watts 2,500 watts
Annual Energy Use 7,385 kWh 8,570 kWh 9,500 kWh
Annual Energy Cost $665 $770 $855
Lifetime Energy Cost $6,355 $7,375 $8,175
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings $1,820 $800 ======
a More-efficient products may have been introduced to the market since this table was published.


Determining Cost-Effectiveness

An efficient product is cost-effective when the discounted savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. ENERGY STAR and FEMP consider up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels so that federal purchasers can assume that ENERGY STAR–qualified and products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective. However, users wishing to determine cost-effectiveness for their application may do so using ENERGY STAR's Commercial Kitchen Equipment Savings Calculator.

For most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost. In high-use applications or when energy rates are above the federal average, purchasers may save more if they specify products that exceed the federal efficiency requirements, as shown in the Best Available column above.


Products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements or ENERGY STAR performance specifications may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications, or in locations with very low rates for natural gas or electricity. In these cases, the agency may pursue an exception to the federal procurement requirement.

Complying with Contracting Requirements

These requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide specifications and project specifications; renovation, repair, maintenance, and energy service contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Energy efficiency requirements should be included in both the evaluation criteria of solicitations and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires federal agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 in solicitations and contracts that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products. FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into both the technical specification and evaluation sections of solicitations. Agencies can claim an exception to these requirements through a written finding that no ENERGY STAR–qualified or FEMP-designated product is available to meet the functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Additional information on federal requirements is available.

Buyer Tips: Choosing Efficient Products

Look for griddles with technologies that improve efficiency and cooking performance (e.g., infrared burners, steam powered, heat pipes, or pulse combustion). For example, chrome griddles radiate up to 50% less heat into the kitchen than standard griddles, thus reducing air conditioning loads and keeping the kitchen more comfortable. Griddles produce less smoke and heat than char broilers and offer a low-cost alternative in some kitchens.

In high production facilities like dining halls, consider double-sided griddles, which have higher cooking efficiencies and lower idle energy rates. Cooking times are reduced by about half because these products heat from both the top and bottom, which could also translate into faster service.

User Tips: Using Products More Efficiently

Idle or standby energy consumption is a significant portion (up to 40%) of griddle energy use. Griddles should be turned off when not in use, as most take less than 15 minutes to preheat. For griddles with multiple sections, turn off unused sections during slow periods. Double-sided griddles should have their tops down when not in use to improve insulation and heat retention.

Updated August 2014

1 Based on the following assumptions: Assumes a 48-inch by 24-inch flat plate gas griddle operated 12 hours a day, 365 days per year, with one preheat cycle, cooking 100 pounds of food per day. The rate for natural gas is $0.68 per therm, the average at federal facilities in the United States. Lifetime energy cost is the sum of the discounted value of annual energy cost for an assumed griddle life of 12 years. Future gas price trends and a 3% discount rate are based on federal guidelines (NISTIR 85-3273-28) and are from the Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709, Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life Cycle Cost Analysis - 2013.