Nashua, Dover, and Keene, New Hampshire
Margaritas is a Mexican restaurant chain with company-owned locations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, and franchises in Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The restaurants are inspired by central Mexico and are designed to offer a celebratory, getaway feel to guests. Each location has unique attributes and challenges to finding efficiencies in the space.
Leadership at Margaritas sought to reduce costs and discovered an opportunity to make energy efficiency improvements. They chose to partner with PRISM Energy Services, a company with the experience and expertise to understand which incentive programs could best support the Margaritas projects and bundle programs for maximum impact.
Margaritas strategically designed the focus of these energy efficiency projects on the locations with the highest opportunity to save both money and energy.
To accomplish real change across the restaurant chain, Eversource was able to offer Margaritas a multi-measure, multi-year improvement plan. With locations ripe for improvements and incentive programs to support these projects, Margaritas committed to a long-term plan with PRISM, Eversource, and its gas supply companies Unitil and Liberty. Working together, the three NHSaves® utility partners incentivized Margaritas’ selected efficiency measures, making this initiative financially attractive.
Margaritas chose to begin with three New Hampshire locations: Nashua, Dover, and Keene. To improve energy efficiency in each facility, reduce utility spend, and improve comfort for guests and team members, Margaritas tackled the following efficiency upgrades in some or all of the locations:
- Updated the kitchen exhaust hoods, including added controls
- Improved walk-in cooler controls
- Switched to all-LED lighting
- Installed a new Energy Management System (EMS) and faucet aerators
- Added controls to rooftop units
Each upgrade had associated electricity savings and together they totaled an estimated 219,300 kWh annual savings. The EMS, kitchen hood, faucet aerators, and rooftop unit measures also resulted in additional gas savings. Since the projects were completed, Margaritas has already experienced the benefits of the improvements.
These upgrades were undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit restaurants particularly hard. The restaurants remained open and aimed to continue to welcome guests without disruption. PRISM was able to execute energy efficiency improvements on Mondays when the restaurants were closed and worked with onsite teams to ensure as little inconvenience as possible, despite some COVID-19 supply chain delays.
“We have seen some significant changes in usage and are very pleased. Since January, we have seen electrical usage drop almost 20% in our Nashua location and there have been significant gas savings as well. Installing these upgrades and working with Eversource and PRISM has been incredibly effective. These improvements help us improve the working order of the restaurants all while doing something positive for the environment. The process is also seamless.”
—Jodenne Scott, Vice President of Finance & Accounting of Margaritas Restaurants
Due to the successes in New Hampshire, Margaritas plans to upgrade restaurants in Massachusetts next, leveraging the established relationship with Eversource and the other NHSaves utility partners for continued incentives and support. The Framingham project is underway, and Margaritas plans to replicate improvements to create a strategy for energy consumption and carbon reduction goals across the entire restaurant chain.
Incentive Amount (Eversource Electric): $142,500
Incentive Amount (Unitil Gas): $14,400
Incentive Amount (Liberty Gas): $19,000
Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 219,300 kWh
Annual Gas Savings: 8,730 therms
Estimated Annual Savings: $51,000