- Panda Express is deploying GridPoint’s smart building technology platform at all of its nearly 2,500 U.S. locations in the next 18 months.
- The partnership comes on the heels of a 200-store pilot that demonstrated measurable energy cost savings and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Panda will now use the GridPoint Intelligence product to control all in-store HVAC and lighting, and provide facility managers with insights into real-time operational and environmental performance, resulting in a reportable emissions offset, according to a Tuesday news release.
- The automation of critical building functions positions Panda Express to efficiently manage energy consumption and ensure its diners, guests and employees are comfortable — particularly during peak energy periods, the release says.
Restaurants use about five to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, with high-volume, quick-service restaurants using even more, according to Energy Star. As operators attempt to lower their energy bills, companies are increasing their focus on effectively benchmarking energy usage and measuring improvements ahead of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s expected climate disclosure rules.
Maximizing energy efficiency and decarbonization in complex commercial buildings requires a technology-driven approach, GridPoint CEO Mark Danzenbaker said in the release. By leveraging data analytics, algorithms and intelligent automation, GridPoint Intelligence provides visibility into building operations, optimizes energy consumption and costs, automates decarbonization and improves resiliency, the company said.
“Optimizing our buildings in this manner frees up time and resources for our associates to continue prioritizing our core mission, which is to deliver exceptional dining experiences for our guests,” James Ku, chief development officer at Panda Restaurant Group, said in the release.
The partnership aligns with a period of growth for GridPoint. The cleantech company, named as one of America’s fastest growing companies, secured a $150 million credit facility from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital last year to expand financing of its energy optimization platform.
With a growing focus on reducing carbon emission and energy costs, organizations are turning to data analytics, artificial intelligence and building controls to streamline operations and cut costs. To meet that demand, several companies, including Honeywell, Trane and Cortex Sustainability Intelligence, have introduced automated HVAC decarbonization controls and energy efficiency tools to drive reductions.