Oregon Restaurant Strives to Use Zero Net Energy

Working its way toward a zero net energy use goal, the Standing Stone Brewing Co. in Ashland, Oregon, has implemented several energy-efficiency measures for its restaurant and brewery. In 2002, Standing Stone installed a variable-speed hood control system for the kitchen that has been saving 22 percent of the electricity and natural gas formerly used by the HVAC system and hood fan. The building also uses compact fluorescent bulbs in the office and service areas; energy-efficient appliances such as hand dryers, dishwashers, and office equipment; and a louvered awning over the back deck to prevent the summer sun from wreaking havoc on the air-conditioning bills. An energy management system helps to keep energy use down from the heating, cooling, and lighting systems, and a high-efficiency boiler has reduced natural gas consumption by 20 percent. In addition, Standing Stone installed a 4.6-kilowatt photovoltaic system, which generates about 7,800 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. Its sustainability goals also extend beyond just reducing energy use—the restaurant provides a large selection of organic menu options, buys regionally produced food to reduce the miles it has to travel, feeds its spent grain and kitchen produce scraps to its own flock of chickens, donates its used vegetable oil for local biodiesel production, and offers free bikes to many of its employees to encourage commuting.