FEA lobbies government with radical plan to support FS industry

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is lobbying the government to initiate a radical plan designed to support the foodservice industry while pushing the net zero carbon agenda, by encouraging the development and sale of more energy efficient equipment.

The association has published its ideas in ‘Net Zero Carbon: A Three Point Plan for Foodservice Equipment’, which is available to download from the news section at fea.org.uk.

The three key points are tax credits for manufacturers, which would be based on the number of energy efficient models sold; a scrappage scheme, to encourage operators to replace old appliances with new, energy efficient versions; and the development of a new version of the Energy Technology List (ETL), along with associated regulations.

The ETL would list approved energy efficient appliances relating to both the manufacturer tax credits scheme and the scrappage scheme. As the FEA points out in its document, the current eco design and energy labelling legislation only covers refrigeration – which accounts for less than 30% of a commercial kitchen’s energy use.

A new ETL will give the UK the opportunity to develop energy efficiency regulations covering the remaining appliances, including cooking, warewashing, ventilation and waste management.

The document underlines the importance of the foodservice equipment industry, not only as a critical part of the hospitality industry supply chain, but also in terms of its contribution to the UK economy in its own right: before the Covid-19 crisis it was worth £1.3bn per year and employed 10,000 people.

At the same time, the plan highlights the need to improve energy efficiency in foodservice kitchens, which are amongst the highest energy consumers in commercial buildings. It’s estimated that restaurant, commercial and institutional kitchens use five to seven times as much energy as an office or retail space.

John Whitehouse, chair of FEA, (pictured) commented, “The debt overhang from Covid-19 will limit the ability of foodservice operators to invest in new equipment.

“That investment is a key part of our industry’s ability to achieve its carbon reduction goals. This plan will help the UK achieve those goals, by encouraging the development and sale of energy efficient equipment.

'It will also help foodservice operators, by reducing running costs. Plus it will support the foodservice equipment industry.”