5 Ways to Save Energy in a Commercial Kitchen

3Wire 12/30/2016

A focus on energy efficiency in the commercial kitchen is about more than being eco-friendly. High energy demands come with big utility bills, and working toward efficient energy use can lead to big savings in a restaurant. These five tips can pay off in reducing cost to a business, helping an owner bring more to the bottom line.

Teach Employees to Conserve

Kitchen employees are the front line when it comes to wise energy use. But energy cost savings in the kitchen won’t happen unless employees are motivated to conserve and understand what they should do to make a difference. Train employees to mind the small details, like closing refrigerator and freezer doors promptly, turning off cooking equipment when it’s not in use, and limiting how long faucets are left to run. These small acts can lead to big savings over time.

Avoid Mixing Hot with Cold

Is the kitchen properly arranged? When ovens and stoves are near refrigerators and freezers, both the hot-side and the cold-side equipment consume more energy just to stay at temperature. Consider keeping the hot-side and the cold-side equipment well away from each other.

Shop Wisely for New Equipment

It’s no secret that older equipment is less energy efficient than newer, greener equipment. If you’re considering replacement, look at relevant factors like overall energy use and energy use while idle. Consider your kitchen’s needs, such as operating hours, production capacity, and maintenance costs. ENERGY STAR® certification is a great way to know if equipment meets energy-efficiency standards.

Retrofit with Energy-Efficient Parts

If new equipment isn’t in your plans, consider energy-efficient alternatives to upgrade your existing equipment. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) recognize this need and produce high-efficiency parts and kits to retrofit older models. Replacement parts like LED lights and low-flow spray valves are just two of the many options available.

Pay Attention to Prevention

Commercial kitchen equipment can’t run efficiently if it isn’t maintained. Make sure you’re performing preventative maintenance on all equipment. Small steps like daily cleaning, changing air filters, and replacing gaskets can make a huge difference. Get more preventative maintenance tips here.