Special device helps Plaza Midwood restaurants save energy, cut costs

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Five Plaza Midwood restaurants are now a part of new green initiative. 

Special energy monitoring devices were installed in the restaurants along the Central Avenue corridor on Thursday.

Eyewitness News got an exclusive look as the crews worked to install the "The Energy Detective" or "TED 5000" system at Kickstand restaurant. It's a state-of-the-art device that monitors and manages energy use.  The information from the device is sent to a special computer program that updates every second, breaking down the energy use down by kilowatt or dollar amount.

Nicole Storey, an energy conservation coordinator with the city of Charlotte, said from there, the owners can target exactly how and where energy is being used or wasted.

"They can look at specific appliances, building operations and employee behavior and behavior of their patrons," Storey said.

Kickstand, Loco Lime, Bistro La Bon, Dish and Common Market are getting the devices installed as a part of a free one-year pilot program with the city of Charlotte and several other partners, called The Green Avenue Initiative. The project is part of an initiative begun by the Charlotte Chamber’s East chapter.

The owners of those restaurants met Thursday with the creator of the device, who explained how the system works.

Matthew Vincent does marketing for Kickstand and Loco Lime, and said with appliances, lights and televisions, restaurant energy costs eat up a lot of revenue.  He's said he is excited the systems will help them target ways to be more efficient. 

"What's cool is it's going to help us be greener and it's going to also help us save money," Vincent said.

Each of the restaurants is also getting an energy audit that will identify any energy-saving improvements that can be made.  The city will reimburse the restaurant with the greatest need $7,500 for making those improvements.

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