Most restaurants are energy-intensive businesses. In fact, they’re energy hogs. According to the US Department of Energy, restaurants have the greatest fuel consumption per square foot among commercial activities. The Food Service Technology Center says that 80 percent of the $10 billion annual energy bill for commercial food service is squandered by the use of inefficient equipment.
The good news is that being energy efficient can have a significant positive impact on your bottom line. Restaurants tend to have narrow pre-tax profit margins of 4-7%. A 20% reduction in energy costs will translate directly into an additional one percent of profit.
Here are some tips and resources for improving your energy efficiency:
- Buy commercial kitchen equipment on NYSERDA’s list of energy efficient equipment, and you will get incentive payments and significantly reduce your electric bill.
- Reduce hot water usage by using low-flow pre-rinse spray valves. They are inexpensive, the energy savings are significant—and you’ll save on your water bill, as well.
- Buy Energy Star labeled office equipment for your back office. You will save about half the power used by less efficient machines. Be sure to enable the stand-by mode, which reduces the “power vampire” effect of instant-on equipment.
- Tune up your heating and air conditioning system with an annual maintenance contract.
- Install smart thermostats for your air conditioning system. They can cut cooling energy use by 30%.
- Install LED exit signs or replace the lighting element with an LED element. You will save 90% over incandescent sign operating costs and the fixtures last for decades.
- Where you can’t replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, use halogens. They last two to four times as long and use half as much power. (Certain uses may be limited by high operating temperatures).