While there’s still some guilt to be had when indulging in a deep-fried take-out, if the restaurant is equipped with a VegaWatt oil converter you can claim you’re only doing it to help the environment. A VegaWatt machine turns used vegetable oil into clean heat and energy for restaurants, eliminating the dirty and costly mess of oil disposal while producing 10-25% of the electricity needed to run a small restaurant.
Designed for locations with 3-5 deep fryers, VegaWatt is the size of a standard fridge and hooks up easily on-site. But don’t call it biodiesel! The Vegawatt produces fuel free of chemicals or fossil fuels, unlike standard biodiesel. The machine puts used fryer oil through a 4-stage filtering process, converting it into a free and clean form of energy. Manufactered by the Owl Power Company in Massachusetts, VegaWatt is part of the EPA‘s Combined Heat and Power Partnership (CHP).
CPH – or Cogeneration – involves one source fulfilling two functions (heat and energy generation), and it’s one of many suggestions from the EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissons. Besides the obvious benefits of reduced oil waste and improved energy efficiency, an average 70 gallon/per week restaurant can save around $800 per month on energy bills. Owning a Vegawatt system also rewards credits towards LEED certification and makes restaurants eligible for income tax credits.