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25 Years Later, PG&E's Food Service Technology Center Now Top Research Facility For Commercial Food Service Industry

From a humble start in a PG&E kitchen, FSTC now occupies a 9,000-square-foot facility

Release Date: August 03, 2012
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

From a humble start in a PG&E kitchen, FSTC now occupies a 9,000-square-foot facility
in San Ramon and has helped make food service facilities much more energy efficient.

SAN RAMON, Calif. — The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) is celebrating its 25th year as a leader in commercial kitchen energy efficiency research. The center helps food service groups, including restaurants, hotels, universities and corporate dining facilities, significantly reduce their energy usage.

This week, the FSTC is hosting Silver and Beyond, a three-day program focusing on the next 25 years of food service sustainability. More than 200 registrants from around the nation are gathering in San Ramon to learn about the future of energy efficiency, green technology, and the goal of a "net-zero" kitchen.

Founded in 1987, the FSTC is operated by Fisher-Nickel, inc. and funded by PG&E. Its 19 local engineers, analysts, researchers, and technicians study the usage of energy and water in commercial kitchens. Research performed over the last 25 years has influenced the way that food service facilities are designed and operated, minimizing utility costs and carbon footprints at some of the nation's largest restaurant chains and other major facilities.

"The original mission of the Food Service Technology Center was to provide unbiased performance information for commercial foodservice equipment," said Don Fisher, President and CEO of Fisher-Nickel, inc.

The FSTC has developed 40 Standard Test Methods for evaluating commercial kitchen appliances, conducted over a thousand site energy audits, presents educational seminars to major food service related organizations, and provides design and operation support to a variety of food service groups.

"The Food Service Technology Center was conceptualized before terms like energy efficiency and carbon footprint were common," said Steve Malnight, PG&E Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions. "We are proud to have changed the way the food service industry looks at its energy usage, saving countless kilowatt hours in the past 25 years."

The center began as a small operation located in the back of PG&E's San Ramon Valley Conference Center kitchen. It now occupies a 9,000 square-foot testing facility with plans for further expansion, and is considered the preeminent research facility for the commercial food service industry.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


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