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June 17, 2000

So Cal Edison and Knott's Soak City Showcase All-Electric Kitchen

Buena Park, CA -- A 70-year energy-efficiency partnership between Southern California Edison (SCE) and Knott's Berry Farm today gave birth to the Edison Electric Grill, an advanced-technology, quick-service restaurant showcased at Knott's new 13-acre water park-Knott's Soak City U.S.A.

In addition to providing park guests with an array of food and refreshments, the Edison Electric Grill will serve as a demonstration facility for Southern California's foodservice industry, showcasing the energy efficiency, productivity, and safety of the latest electro-technologies for commercial cooking.

"Foodservice companies sometimes mistakenly believe that all-electric kitchens represent few advantages and higher energy costs," said Gregg Ander, SCE's manager of design and engineering services. "Actually, just the opposite can be true."

SCE and Knott's began collaborating in the 1930s when the two companies designed an energy-efficient all-electric commercial pie-baking kitchen at Knott's Berry Place (later Knott's Berry Farm).

"Our partnership transcends the typical corporate sponsorship of a park facility," said Bob Ochsner, a Knott's spokesperson. "Edison's demonstration kitchen will not only provide publicity for one of the nation's premier electric utilities, it will serve as a model for energy-efficient commercial kitchens."

One of the challenges SCE engineers faced in designing the all-electric kitchen was meeting Knott's standards for productivity, ease of use and cleaning, reliability, and durability.

"The Edison Electric Grill meets all of our foodservice standards," said Ochsner.

SCE's demonstration kitchen includes a triple-deck-pizza conveyor-oven that uses 35% less energy than older electric ovens and two flat steam griddles that consume 40% less power than former flat griddles.

"Because of California's rapid growth and low energy reserves, state officials are urging consumers and business managers to become more energy efficient," said Pam Bass, SCE's senior vice president of customer service. "Edison appreciates the opportunity Knott's has provided to demonstrate for the foodservice industry the very latest in energy-efficient electric technologies for commercial kitchens."

SCE's and Knott's joint ventures include a 1993 project involving Knott's world-famous fruit products. Knott's Berry Farm Foods was searching for a way to increase productivity in the plant that produces its preserves, syrups, jams and jellies. SCE engineers helped Knott's decrease by 30% the cooling time needed for its glass containers before labeling.

In order to increase public awareness of new electro-technologies, SCE routinely joins with Southern California companies to build demonstration projects similar to the Edison Electric Grill. Last year the utility and Ralphs opened a prototype supermarket jointly designed by the two companies that uses approximately 20% less energy than conventional grocery-store designs. A recent partnership with Beazer Homes resulted in a demonstration home in Simi Valley that combines 27 energy-efficient measures that can reduce energy consumption by 35% for homeowners. More information on the utility's energy-efficiency programs can be found at the Web site

Knott's Soak City U.S.A. visitors will find 21 major water rides and attractions including 16 tube, body and speed slides; a giant-wave pool with sunning beach; a one-third-mile lazy river; the Gremmie Lagoon kids' water playground; and the three-story ToyotaĴ Beach House water funhouse.

All-Electric Kitchen Fact Sheet

New electro-technologies showcased at Edison Electric Grill:

- A triple-deck pizza conveyor-oven that uses 35% less energy the older electric ovens

- Two flat steam griddles that consume 40% less power than former flat griddles.

- Four fryers that will use 10% less energy than conventional ones.

- High-efficiency refrigeration systems.

Benefits of electro-technologies showcased at Edison Electric Grill:

- Electric foodservice equipment heats the food, not the kitchen, providing greater employee and customer comfort and saving on air conditioning costs.

- Electric foodservice equipment is as much as 50% more efficient than gas, saving on energy costs.

- All-electric kitchens prepare food faster, reducing cooking times by 15% to 20% and labor costs by as much as 10%.

- Electric foodservice equipment reduces ventilation costs because of the absence of open flames.

- Electric food preparation reduces meat shrinkage and produces a more consistent product, increasing customer satisfaction.

- All-electric kitchens increase employee and public safety by eliminating open flames, hazardous fuels and hot cooking surfaces.