Restaurants usually consume a lot of energy because of equipment and appliances like refrigerators, lighting, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems necessary to keep the business operational. Running all these machines significantly increases your utility bills and other expenses. Thus, it’s in your best interest to reduce energy consumption.
Energy conservation isn’t only helpful in lowering electricity bills; it also helps decrease the carbon footprint. And such efforts help in conserving the environment as a whole.
There are numerous eco-friendly equipment upgrades, best practices, and maintenance tips you can apply to reduce your energy consumption. In light of this, below are incredible energy conservation tips you should know as a restaurant owner:
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Use A Refrigeration Monitoring System
Refrigeration is essential in restaurants as it helps in preserving the freshness of perishable foods and drinks. With older systems, you may have to manually monitor the items in the fridge to keep track of their freshness.
A manual approach can lead to food wastage and an increase in energy. That is because visual inspection isn’t as thorough in monitoring typical refrigeration parameters like temperature and the status of the refrigerant levels.
If that’s the case, consider investing in commercial refrigeration monitoring systems. It is one of the best ways of ensuring your refrigerator is functioning optimally and that raw ingredients are always fresh.
The modern features in these systems work optimally to ensure that your restaurant is energy efficient. These systems monitor your refrigeration through their incorporated hardware and software. Once installed, they can easily notify you of any damaged parts to enable you to fix them in time to avoid your food getting spoiled.
Plus, the systems handle and decrease energy use through the thermostat and humidity sensor by gathering data from the freezer. Then, the information is transferred to the central management system that utilizes advanced metering technology to boost functioning and energy utilization. Consider having your monitoring system installed by experts to conserve energy.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Most kitchen appliances that aren’t energy efficient tend to consume more energy and can increase utility bills. Thus, it’d be best to consider energy-efficient ones like high-efficiency dishwashers, refrigerators, and dryers, which consume less water and energy. Due to their design, they utilize a fraction of the typical energy used by older equipment.
When buying restaurant equipment, look for the ones with an Energy Star rating because they use less energy and are more efficient. Manufacturers make them to decrease carbon emissions. So, don’t hesitate to replace old and outdated equipment with more efficient models.
Change Your Lighting
Your restaurant must be well-lit throughout the day and night to create a conducive ambiance for diners to relax. In this case, if you use traditional incandescent bulbs, your energy consumption will consistently be high because they typically use a lot of power.
However, if you turn to Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting, you’ll considerably decrease power usage and save on electricity bills. Moreover, LED bulbs last longer than incandescent ones.
You may also consider installing motion timers for lighting in areas that are not frequently used, such as storage areas and restrooms. It’ll help solve the problem of leaving lights on for the entire day, even when these spaces aren’t in use. You can also consider using solar power lights instead which are eco-friendly.
Optimize Your HVAC System
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are massive energy consumers for your restaurant. However, they are necessary to control the temperature in your kitchen and ensure the restaurant is well-ventilated for staff and customers’ comfort. Keeping the HVAC system running all the time may account for hefty energy bills.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do to decrease energy consumption while using these systems. You can program your thermostat to avoid overworking it. The thermostat monitors the indoor temperature and signals the unit to produce the desired temperature rather than letting it run on a constant temperature setting for several hours, even when the weather changes.
In addition, ensure your HVAC system is regularly maintained and cleaned by experts to boost its efficiency. Moreover, repairs should be done on all the damaged ducts and other moving parts. Don’t forget to change your air filters frequently to make your HVAC efficient.
Conduct Equipment Maintenance
Regularly maintained equipment consumes less energy because it won’t overwork to produce the desired results. It’ll also prolong your equipment’s life while allowing you to save on energy.
For water purifiers, it’s essential to frequently replace the filters to prevent excessive buildup of debris, which can lead to higher energy demands. Also, clean your condenser coils to prevent dust accumulation which can make them not remove heat.
Decrease Your Water Use
Water is an important resource for a restaurant because of how much you need it for every operation, from cleaning utensils to washing the floor, hands, and tablecloths and flushing in the washrooms. Remember, water systems consume energy, in that you may have to pump water to the various outlets.
Besides, you may have to heat water during the cold season. Thus, it’d help to use water-efficient equipment like low-flow faucets and pre-rinse spray valves to decrease water use. The less water you use, the less energy you consume when pumping and heating. Additionally, consider implementing a water reuse system to recycle water for other uses like cleaning.
Moreover, make sure you conduct repairs on leaky faucets to decrease water wastage. Also, monitor your dishwasher’s water gauge, switch it off, and conceal it tightly to decrease energy waste.
Adjust Your Restaurant Kitchen Layout
Make sure you change the arrangement of your kitchen so that most of the appliances and HVAC systems don’t have to overwork. Placing the cooling and heating appliances far from each other is crucial.
For instance, it’d be best not to put a fryer and refrigerator next to each other. The heat from the fryer will make the fridge overwork, leading to higher energy consumption.
Turn Off Unused Equipment
Turning off appliances when not in use are little things you can do in your restaurant to ensure energy conservation. Inactive electronics and appliances plugged into outlets still draw power. Thus, always ensure appliances and equipment like the fryer and grills are turned off and unplugged when not in use.
Educate Your Staff On Energy Efficient Procedures
All restaurant staff is crucial to ensuring the restaurant runs optimally. Thus, it’s best to train your team members on energy conservation practices. You can constantly remind them to practice the things explained above, like turning off lights, equipment, and appliances when they’re not in use.
Alternatively, you can put stickers on appliances and equipment that use a lot of energy to remind your staff constantly. Constant reminders to not leave refrigerator doors open for extended periods or properly load the dishwasher will also help you save energy and money.
Conduct An Energy Audit
An energy audit is among the critical things you should do to conserve energy in your restaurant. It’ll help you spot areas where you can reduce energy consumption to save money. An energy auditor can come to your restaurant and conduct a monthly or yearly audit. An energy audit will help you identify your restaurant’s energy usage and which areas you can change.
Restaurants use a lot of energy to ensure you cook meals, ventilate and light up the space, and cool food. All these activities considerably increase bills. However, learning how to conserve energy can help you avoid such costs and ensure you have an energy-efficient restaurant.
Follow the suggestions above on energy conservation restaurants. Ultimately, you’ll decrease operating costs and increase your profit margins while also playing your role in decreasing the carbon footprint.