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It has never been more important to improve energy efficiency in commercial kitchens. restaurants, and cafés. The price of oil and gas remains unpredictable, resulting in long-term price increases.

It is estimated that the catering industry uses around 20,600 million kWh of energy every year. To stay ahead of the competition and avoid risk of closure, it is crucial that hospitality businesses increase their energy efficiency. Through this, you can save thousands of pounds every year helping to keep the UK hospitality industry thriving.

In this article, we provide some suggestions for companies operating commercial kitchens in the hospitality industry on how to lower operating costs and save energy.

Why should we be reducing our energy consumption?

As well as the savings to your bank account, you’ll also be helping towards making Britain greener. The last few years have seen the government announce targets to stop and reverse climate change, so to cut emissions by 2035 and to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, everyone should be doing their part.

Energy efficiency in commercial kitchens

Watch your water consumption

A lot of energy consumption actually comes from water usage, and a lot is used in commercial kitchens. This is one of the easiest changes you could make to save money.

Lots of restaurants will be using high-pressure nozzles on their taps, so think about switching to a low-flow nozzle. This will prevent you from using more water than necessary when rinsing your plates and cleaning surfaces, without impacting your day to day operations.

You also should make sure you’re not ignoring any leaks. Leaky faucets or appliances could cost you hundreds of pounds, as they are easy to ignore. Check your taps, toilets and sinks once a week to make sure everything is in order and to avoid costly fixes.

Install energy efficient equipment

Investing in energy efficient appliances and equipment can have a big impact on your monthly costs. Although it can be a big up front expense when your profit margins are tight, ensuring your equipment is as efficient as possible can save you thousands of pounds. Plus, if you can’t afford the upfront cost, you could always choose to rent catering equipment from a supplier like us!

  • Choose an induction cooktop instead of a gas burner, so power is only used when you need it. This also keeps your kitchen cooler so other equipment doesn’t need to work as hard
  • Consider multi-use equipment such as a combi oven, so you have fewer pieces of equipment switched on
  • Choose refrigerators and freezers that have an efficient energy grade. Consider features such as auto closing doors and autodefrost. Make sure to maintain and clean them and check the door seals to reduce wasted energy
  • Add condensate hoods above warewashing and steam equipment to remove hot air out of the kitchen
  • Upgrade your deep fryer to an energy efficient model to save money on bills as well as cooking oil

Switch off appliances

Sometimes the simplest advice can be the most effective! Remember to switch off your equipment and lights when they are not being used. Some equipment will continue to run on standby mode, which can sneakily increase the running costs and waste energy so look out for this.

Invest in energy saving bulbs

If you don’t have natural light in your commercial kitchen, you could be using a lot of energy running older light bulbs. LED bulbs are a cheap investment that will reduce your energy consumption.

Keep up with cleaning and maintenance

If you don’t keep your equipment clean or service it regularly, it will be working harder than it needs to be. Help your equipment to run as effectively as possible by keeping up with a regular cleaning routine and getting regular maintenance completed. Checking seals and gaskets as well as changing air filters can help your equipment last longer and perform better.

Train and motivate your staff

Educate your staff about switching off equipment and conserving hot water so it becomes part of their regular routine. Motivate them and create a good working environment so they want to do their part. Create signs around relevant areas such as sinks and light switches to remind employees to turn things off.

Think about the positions of your appliances

Place refrigerators and freezers away from cookers and other hot appliances so they don’t have to work as hard. Make sure they have a good amount of ventilation space around the unit so less energy is used to stay cool.  Place your open burners, broilers and steamers under the same vent.

Look at your menu

Some menu items will use more energy than others, so you may want to rethink if you could cook these differently or want to take them off.

If you need personalised advice for how to make your commercial kitchen more energy efficient, or need help sourcing equipment then get in touch with our expert team.

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