Everyone loves the summer months, full restaurant patios, ice cold beverages and fun with family and friends … But that also means higher energy bills. As energy costs rise along with the temperature outside, utilities bills jump this time of year – especially for restaurants.
U.S. restaurants have one of the greatest energy intensities out of all commercial buildings. Per square foot, they use an annual average of 38 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 111 cubic feet of natural gas. With sunny skies and hotter days, our use of air conditioning increases, leading to higher energy consumption. Additionally, utilities often charge higher rates during the summer months to match electricity demand.
Although we can’t control the temperature outside, restaurant owners have the opportunity to combat these higher energy costs. Cooking, water heating, refrigeration, and space heating make up almost 80% of total energy use in restaurants, so targeting these systems is best for energy savings. Fortunately, Online Restaurant Supplies by Stanford Sonoma can help restaurants bring their energy conservation plans to life.
Here are three tips for making it through the summer months without breaking a sweat:
Swap out cooking appliances.
At the heart of the restaurant, the kitchen is where most energy is used, so owners need to ensure that they have cutting-edge appliances that maximize their use. For starters, upgrading your deep fryer to an energy-efficient electric fryer is an easy fix. An Energy Star certified model offers shorter cook times and higher production rates through advanced burner and heat exchanger designs. Fry pot insulation also reduces standby losses resulting in a lower idle energy rate. This upgrade not only saves on utilities but it also saves on oil-usage.
Switching from an electric or gas cooktop to induction is another easy energy-saving hack. Induction cooking is 84% efficient at transfer, compared to 74% for a smooth-top electric unit. Traditional gas and electric ranges heat up the air around the pan, losing up to half their heat to the surrounding environment. Choose an induction burner, such as the Hatco Rapide Cuisine Heavy-Duty Induction Range, that has pan-sensing technology and doesn’t initiate heat until the pan hits the burner.
Upgrade your refrigerator.
Refrigeration is one of the biggest contributors to a restaurant’s energy bill. Typical commercial refrigerators use up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity while large commercial freezers use up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours, resulting in high energy bills. To find savings and reduce your impact on the environment, choose a refrigerator that uses a climate-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerant, which is a natural, nontoxic option. It’s cost-effective, won’t deplete the ozone layer and has low global warming potential.
Make equipment maintenance a priority.
No matter how energy-efficient your appliances may be, it’s crucial to undergo routine maintenance to ensure they are running properly. If you don’t keep your equipment clean or service it regularly, it’s probably working harder than it needs to be, leading to higher energy costs.
One way to extend your equipment’s life is with water filtration systems, which prevent calcification and mineral deposits in any equipment that connects to a water line. By replacing your water filters at the appropriate time, you ensure that scale buildup doesn’t clog the internal components of your equipment and affect the efficiency of the unit.
By implementing just one of these modifications, restaurants can lower their energy bill and reduce their carbon footprint over time. It’s one simple step in a major push toward saving the world!