It shouldn’t come as a surprise that commercial establishments like restaurants use a lot of energy every day for food storage, preparation, and designing the overall customer experience.
It’s no secret either that these bills pile up — appliances like used commercial freezers run 24/7 for optimal food storage, while stoves, ovens, and dishwashers run non-stop during service hours. On top of these heavy-duty appliances, fixtures like lighting and business tools like computers and point-of-sale systems help complete the restaurant experience.
Next to inventory and overhead costs, utility bills are a major expense for restaurants. Not only do they become expensive without cost-saving and energy-efficiency measures, but they increase a restaurant’s carbon footprint, which, as an industry, has a large negative impact on the environment. To prevent the bills from piling up, it’s important to see how your restaurant can cut down on energy consumption, and run a greener, eco-friendly business:
Top Energy Conservation Ideas
Restaurants are busy, high-pressure environments where appliances are constantly running. But that alone shouldn’t cause your bills to pile up. It’s possible to run a green business and reduce your overall environmental impact while continuing to serve delicious treats as customers flock to your restaurant.
Use Energy-Efficient Kitchen Equipment
Start with what you use: kitchen equipment are the number one culprits of energy consumption, but you can reduce this by switching to energy-efficient appliances. Consider what type of used commercial freezers, stoves, ovens, and other appliances you use — how old are they, and how much power do they require?
Even if you rely on used models, many of them are already energy star certified, so keep an eye out for them when upgrading. Book a regular maintenance service to keep them in optimal, energy-efficient function.
Establish Energy-Efficient Practices
It’s not enough to install energy-efficient kitchen equipment — it’s much more important to use them properly to avoid wasteful energy consumption. Start by training staff to monitor kitchen equipment while in use, and remind them to turn off idle equipment.
As well, think of how your kitchen is laid out to ensure that refrigeration equipment has enough ventilation to expel hot air. Without enough breathing room, appliances tend to consume more energy to stay cool. A similar principle applies to positioning heating and cooling equipment — the oven can’t stand next to an ice machine because it causes the ambient air to heat up and forces cooling equipment to work overtime to maintain ideal temperatures.
Check Heating, Lighting, and Water
It also helps to check other fixtures and amenities that consume energy, such as heating, lighting, and water. Heaters run regularly during the colder months of the year, but since kitchens already tend to run hot, restaurant owners can cut down on heating usage in this area.
Also, make sure to turn off lights when not in use and reduce water consumption between cooking and cleaning. Work with your utility company to understand energy usage patterns and see if bill increases are caused by routine kitchen activities or if these indicate leaks and idle equipment.
Money Saving Strategies For Commercial Kitchen Equipment
For business owners, the real impact of high energy consumption is cost. High-volume use of kitchen equipment can cause utility bills to skyrocket, so it’s important to spend these hard-earned dollars smartly. Out of all kitchen appliances, the most common culprit is commercial refrigeration and freezer units.
Buy a Used Commercial Freezer
While all commercial appliances have a shelf life, this doesn’t mean buying brand new is the only way to go — many restaurants often can’t afford this high cost. Instead, opt for a used, but good quality restaurant freezer and refrigerator.
Run an Energy-Efficient Freezer
Once installed, set up defrost cycles based on regular usage patterns to remove frost build-up and maintain ideal freezing temperatures. To save on energy, switch off the door heaters and insulate suction lines, and try to use old gaskets in good condition. As well, check if the model uses LED lighting and automatic door closers to maintain ideal interior temperatures, and prevent the freezer from working overtime.
Most importantly, book a regular maintenance service that includes cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils and inspecting the refrigerant charge to ensure optimal, energy-efficient function.
Carbon Footprint Reduction For Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
Buying a used commercial freezer isn’t just cost-saving — it’s also eco-friendly and responsible. Many appliances still in good condition are simply thrown out after years of use, with their parts crowding landfills. By buying a used model, you can save on operational costs and maximize the energy-efficient function of a commercial appliance.
To ensure its long-term energy-efficient function, make sure to use your commercial freezer properly. Switch to eco-friendly refrigerants, and book a regular maintenance service to check for leaks and repair damage in the evaporator and condenser coils, refrigerant charge, pipes, compressors, motors, door gaskets, and seals. During everyday use, make sure that the doors are closed without delay to reduce emissions.
Go Green with the Right Used Commercial Appliances
Commercial freezers use a lot of energy, and they need to run constantly to ensure optimal food storage and safety. Turning them off simply isn’t an option, but even then, there are many ways to reduce their energy consumption and their overall impact on greenhouse gas emissions. By following these energy-saving tips, you can maintain restaurant-quality service that customers trust, while reducing your carbon footprint.