Vending machines are notorious energy hogs. They use electricity all day, every day, even when no one is around to use them. Their lights illuminate the snacks and beverages inside at all hours, in case someone walks by and wants to grab a snack or drink. Refrigerated vending machines use even more energy, since they’re working day and night to keep their contents at just the right temperature for consumer tastes.
These features—attractive lighting and refrigeration—are essential for the customer experience. But they come at a high cost to whoever is paying the energy bill.
According to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, older vending machines use between 3,000 and 5,000 kWh per year. With an average commercial energy cost of 11 cents per hour, that adds up to $330 to $550 per year, per vending machine.
One way to get better energy performance is to use ENERGY STAR–certified vending machines f, which cut energy use to between about 1,000 and 1,700 kWh per day by employing high-efficiency compressors, fan motors, and heat exchangers, as well as better insulation. These more efficient units also have advanced lighting and refrigeration controls, allowing you to tune your machine to your specific needs.
New technology makes older machines more energy efficient
ENERGY STAR vending machines are great, and they may eventually become the norm since the Department of Energy recently instituted new energy efficiency standards for new vending machine sales.
But if you already have vending machines in your building, there’s still a way to make them more energy efficient—without investing in brand new ENERGY STAR–certified appliances. A small, affordable device called the VendingMiser makes it possible to retrofit your existing refrigerated vending machines to cut energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The savings can make your older machine just as efficient as the newer ENERGY STAR–rated ones.
The VendingMiser saves money and conserves energy while also prolonging the lifespan of vending machines.
How does VendingMiser work?
The VendingMiser has two parts:
1. An external controller that is mounted on a wall or on the machine. This controller plugs directly into the wall outlet, and your vending machine plugs into it.
2. An occupancy sensor that’s connected to the controller and mounted on a wall or directly on the machine. This sensor detects movement in the area of the machine.
By sensing when long periods pass without any traffic near the vending machine, the VendingMiser can automatically power the machine down when there’s no likelihood of someone making a purchase.
The VendingMiser also monitors the room’s temperature and can automatically repower the cooling system at one-to three-hour intervals. This ensures the product remains cold, without the constant draw of energy.
If you have multiple vending machines, VendingMiser can use its embedded sensor repeater, which allows it to be controlled from the PIR sensor of any other Miser in the bank.
How much does the VendingMiser save?
On average, the VendingMiser reduces energy consumption by 46 percent. That’s about a $150 annual savings for each machine.
In addition, the VendingMiser reduces maintenance costs, since the vendor components run less. The maintenance savings range from $40 to $80 per year.