According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), restaurants use about 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Needless to say, all that energy costs money, so investing in energy efficiency when you're planning that new restaurant construction, can mean big savings over the long haul.
Not only will taking simple steps to make your operation more environmentally friendly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve resources, it will also have a positive impact on the bottom line.
Following are some cost-saving tips for increasing energy efficiency in commercial kitchens. These tips, provided by the EPA, can save thousands of dollars each year on energy bills.
Purchase Energy Star qualified equipment
Consider the bigger picture when purchasing kitchen appliances and equipment. Focusing on life-cycle costs rather than purchase price can help you save big in the long run. Life-cycle cost includes the purchase price, annual energy savings and other long-term costs associated with the equipment. Though energy efficient appliances cost more up-front, they pay for themselves quickly with lowered energy bills. To get the biggest bang for your buck, request ENERGY STAR-qualified equipment.
Implement Energy Efficient Processes
Leaving equipment ON when it’s not being used costs money. Implement a startup/shut down that ensures the equipment is running only when needed.
Maintain Equipment Regularly, Repair Equipment Immediately
Adhering to regularly scheduled maintenance programs will ensure your equipment is running efficiently. Regular maintenance can help restaurateurs spot potential problems in addition to avoiding repair costs and the high cost of replacing spoiled food.
Choose the Most Energy Efficient Cooking Method
While all cooks have their favorite cooking methods for certain foods, consider experimenting with more energy-efficient methods. Ovens are generally more energy efficient than rotisseries, and griddles more efficient than broilers.
Check the Thermostats
Kitchen equipment performance changes over time. To ensure your kitchen is operating efficiently, check thermostats and control systems on appliances, refrigeration, dish machines and hot water heaters to see if they need to be recalibrated or readjusted.
In addition to saving money on energy bills and conserving much-needed resources, operating your kitchen with energy efficiency in mind can produce dividends in the form of tax rebates. The State of Ohio rewards commercial customers with incentives for upgrading lighting, lighting controls, HVAC systems and commercial cooking equipment among other energy-saving measures. For more information, visit Energy.gov.