As a restaurant owner or hospitality manager, do you feel sick every time you receive your quarterly energy bill?

Hardly surprising considering you face some of the highest energy consumption levels in the commercial sector.

What you may not realise is that your kitchen ventilation is one of the biggest contributors to your energy usage. Improve efficiency and you’ll see a huge reduction in your energy bill.

At present, you probably have your commercial kitchen exhaust fans running at 100% even when there’s no cooking happening. ecosense is a clever piece of technology with optic and temperature sensors that detect cooking activity and instruct your fans to operate only as fast as necessary. Installing an ENERGY STAR rated ecosense system can reduce your energy costs by up to 60% or more.

We recently partnered with Melink in the US to bring this incredible piece of technology to Australia. Why Melink? What does this mean for hospitality businesses in Australia? And why did Melink choose ecogroup as a partner?

We caught up with Melink’s Senior Sales and Applications Engineer, Jason Brown, who was happy to answer these questions.

Hi Jason. How do you see ecosense (known as Intelli-hood in the US) changing the future for commercial kitchens in Australia?

ecosense will bring a new level of intelligence to commercial kitchen hoods in Australia to solve the energy and safety needs of the operators.  Energy prices in Australia are fairly high as compared to the global market and the typical ecosense system should bring a simple payback of two years or less in new construction projects and likely three years or less in retro-fit applications.  The ability to retro-fit the controls is also a great way to positively impact the built environment and help customers achieve their financial and sustainability goals.  In addition to the savings, the system will allow for additional automation in the kitchen to ensure exhaust fans are operational when active cooking is happening, which will protect the occupants and building owners from fire and toxic gasses.

The ecosense system is also capable of being accessed via mobile networks and will allow operators to obtain energy performance data from the systems and further quantify their investment.  The food-service industry has traditionally low profit margins and any incremental savings in operational cost can have a major impact on the bottom line.  As opposed to a new menu item or paid advertising, controlling energy is non-speculative and will have an immediate return on investment and the environment.

Why did you choose to partner up with ecogroup in Australia?

Ecogroup is a leader in the Australian market and recognise that innovation is key to obtaining and keeping customers.  They have invested in engineered hood solutions that minimise the required volume of air in the exhaust canopy, UV hood cleaning and filtration, and focusing on safety with their new filter removal system.  The addition of a demand control ventilation system further increases the value ecogroup can provide to their customers regional specifiers.

What will this relationship mean for Melink moving forwards?

The addition of ecogroup will further expand the global footprint of ecosense controls and support our mission of changing the world, one hood at a time.  Since inventing this technology nearly 30 years ago, Melink has installed over 11,000 control systems and saved our customers millions of kWh’s and reduced carbon emissions.  Our global lodging and technology customers continue to expand their footprint and sustainability goals, so we must grow with them into new territories and provide a great customer experience around the globe.


Retrofit to any existing kitchen exhaust hood or add ecosense as an option to your new ecocanopy hood.

Keen to get your commercial kitchen exhaust hoods working smarter to save energy?

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