U.S.S. Chowder Pot III

JouleSmart helps popular restaurant lower utility costs to save more than $15k annually.

Since opening its doors in the mid 1990s, The U.S.S. Chowder Pot III has become a Branford, Connecticut, institution—adored by locals and tourists alike for its fine food and popular bar. Recently, long-term chef John Bencivengo Jr. purchased the business. With Connecticut’s electricity costs among the highest in the nation, one of the first challenges Bencivengo faced as owner was finding a way to reign in utility costs so that Chowder Pot could continue to deliver exceptional value while also lowering operating expenses and reducing its carbon footprint.


By partnering with JouleSmart, the restaurant was able to put its premises to work for its business with an intelligent building solution designed, implemented, maintained, and managed by JouleSmart—with no upfront capital expenditure or project planning on the part of Chowder Pot.
That solution consists of the following:
  • Sensors and controls (including a real-time power meter) that monitor occupancy and temperature, send alerts, and take action to improve humidity, reduce energy use, and extend equipment life
  • Modernized heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and LED lighting systems to create a comfortable and inviting environment for employees and customers
  • A cellular gateway and wireless network
  • A cloud server for accessible data storage
  • A centralized building management system that uses proprietary software and a customized master control panel to serve as the brains for the environment
  • Five years of ActiveOversight™—in which JouleSmart acts as an outsourced facility manager, continuously monitoring the building’s performance to extend its life and maximize Chowder Pot’s profits


Today, thanks to JouleSmart’s intelligent building solution, Chowder Pot owner Bencivengo can control the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor lights as well as the temperature of the building and refrigeration/freezer system from the palm of his hand using his smart phone. He’ll even be alerted via smart phone if a door has been left ajar after closing time.
As a result, Bencivengo expects the business to reap post-contract annual savings of more than $15,000 and 15-year cumulative savings of more than $150,000. In addition, JouleSmart negotiated an energy supply agreement for the site that saves the restaurant 15 percent.
Bencivengo is quick to point out, however, that the benefits of the intelligent building solution encompass more than just savings in energy costs. As the restaurant strives to become more environmentally friendly, the JouleSmart solution is helping it reach that goal by reducing its carbon footprint by the equivalent of more than 3,000 trees and eliminating more than 300,000 miles of vehicle travel annually on the part of employees.
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