What can owners do to reduce restaurant energy bills?
Are Restaurant energy bills turning your business into Hell’s Kitchen?
Restaurants and takeaways alike suffer the same when it comes to their business energy, as gas and electricity remain one of the largest operating costs any food outlet will face.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, commercial kitchens require two and a half times more energy per square foot than any other business premises. Unfortunately, this means that the size of a restaurants energy bills are potentially also two and a half times more than other businesses!
What can owners do to reduce their restaurant energy bills?
Surprisingly, there are a variety of ways that restaurants can reduce their business energy bills and consumption that won’t cost astronomical amounts of money and have savings potential for the environment too.
The National Restaurant Association 2008 survey found 62% of diners said they’d prefer to eat in an environmentally-friendly restaurant.
At Exchange Utility, we understand the need to consistently improve and refine business energy usage to make a saving, so we’ve answered some of your questions to help you decide which environmentally friendly, money saving measures could be right for you. Enjoy!
Do restaurant menu options affect business energy costs?
Every Chef knows that any dish they prepare requires certain pieces of cooking and preparation equipment. However, when it comes to power consumption, the more items turned on, the bigger the kitchens running costs are.
To keep your business energy costs down, it may be beneficial to look into what you’re serving on your menu and which pieces of equipment each dish needs so you can work out whether or not you’re wasting energy keeping equipment on that isn’t required.
You could even fashion a delicious restaurant menu orientated around this, so you know that you’re not wasting those kilowatts.
Will replacing lighting with environmentally friendly bulbs save money?
By replacing all light bulbs within your restaurant with eco-friendly alternatives, you could save your business approximately £3 per bulb, per year.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add up all of the bulbs within your business, you could find this measure has the potential to save you hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds.
Could having environmentally friendly cooking equipment affect my restaurant energy bills?
- Traditional hobs are up to 50% less efficient than electric induction hobs because they don’t require as much ventilation and produce ‘clean’ heat.
- Over a year of a 5KW grill left on between services equates to 25,740kWh of electricity at a cost of approximately £2,630 wasted! A new gas-fired grill will cost in the region of £1,300 to purchase so if the grill is left on even 30% of the time the payback takes 6 months.
- Combi ovens use up to 60% less energy than cooking with traditional equipment and can replace several pieces of catering equipment. Food wastage can also be reduced by up to 17% from cooking on demand.
(Source: The Sustainable Restaurants Association www.thesra.org)
Can I generate energy from food waste?
Quite often, food and restaurant waste gets sent to the dump along with the rest of the rubbish, never to be used again. Approximately 20m tonnes of food waste is created every year in the UK food service sector. This is a massive waste of potential energy!
Anaerobic digestion can give organic waste a new lease of life by turning it into biogas for your restaurant: Biogas is a concoction of (60%) Methane, (40%) CO2 and minor traces of Hydrogen and Hydrogen Sulphide.
The recipe for Biogas from food waste is as follows:
- Gather all organic food waste, oils and grease
- Transport the waste to a local Bio Gas plant
- Mix the sludge with Bio solids: the nutrient-rich organic materials remaining from sewage treatment
- Feed the slop to micro-organisms that excrete the biogas
- Collect the gas. Then the remaining materials can become fertiliser, so waste is minimal.
Does teaching staff about energy saving help to reduce costs?
Cheesy though it is, knowledge is power – or power saving in this case.
The more your staff know about what practices they can adopt to save energy, the better. You could even delegate the position of restaurant energy manager to a member of staff to ensure that any energy saving measures you’d like to implement are instilled amongst your work force.
The more involved your staff are with the process, and what is expected of them, the more successful your business energy savings are likely to be.
How can I be sure that my restaurants energy usage is minimal in out of service hours?
Automation is a great tool when it comes to being sure that your business premises aren’t costing you a fortune after you’ve locked up for the day. The use of pre-set timers on all plug sockets, especially larger pieces of equipment, can take away the hassle of remembering to be efficient because they switch everything off for you.
Energy savings like this can have a massive impact on your lowering restaurant consumption and by extension bills!
What can I do to reduce my restaurant energy bills today?
It would be wise for any restaurant owners reading this to reassess their current gas, electricity and water contracts to ensure your business is on the right tariff. Being on the wrong tariff for your business could be costing you thousands of pounds extra each year, so it’s always a good port of call to compare tariffs with the same supplier and others, just to make sure.
Call today on 0800 9777 000 to make sure you’re not paying more than you have to.
What could the future of restaurant energy entail?
Here’s an interesting concept: Restaurants powered by hot air….
On tube platforms in London, body heat is collected via the ventilation system to assist in the generation of energy. This measure is part of the CELSIUS project that is helping enable Boris Johnson to work towards targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% and produce 25% of London’s energy locally. It aims to demonstrate how much heat energy we are bypassing in the pursuit of other resources.
Think about the amount of heat your restaurant emits, from both cooking and guests. Wouldn’t it be interesting to apply the concept to commercial kitchens?
What do you think is the best energy saving measure for UK restaurants?
The above list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to energy saving and consumption reduction measures for UK restaurants. We’d love to hear about what you think are the best methods for becoming an environmentally friendly food outlet so feel free to help us discover more by getting in touch today.
While you’re at it, why not get started on reducing your business energy bills by requesting an energy comparison from one of our friendly energy experts?