Tips to combat high energy costs for food operators

by | Feb 15, 2023

Energy prices may now be the biggest threat to the hospitality industry. Energy is the second highest cost for hospitality venues, and energy bills are predicted to rise by £4.5 billion in 2023. The rising cost of energy is indeed a hardship for many businesses struggling to keep the lights on. Whilst increasing costs are unavoidable, there are ways you can save on energy.

Here are some tips on how you can quickly and easily reduce energy costs.

  • Order oil (for tank) ‘little and often’. As prices fluctuate, be prepared to order when the price drops, even if your tank is 3/4 full. Every bit of savings can help.
  • Cut gas consumption by using gas fryers only when necessary and replace with electric fryers, especially if you have a fixed priced electricity contract.
  • Turn the thermostat down and invest in a smart thermostat. Chances are no one will notice. Plus, if you turn the heat off 30-45 minutes earlier before closing, that will save up to 5 hours of oil heating consumption per week (every little bit helps). Also, a smart thermostat can be programmed remotely and many are tamper-resistant to prevent unauthorised adjustments.
  • In the afternoon (post lunch hours), close curtains and blinds to insulate and contain the ambient heat.
  • Commercial equipment contributes a great deal to your restaurant’s energy consumption, but your equipment doesn’t have to always devour resources. Close the kitchen for a defined period of time (i.e. 1-2 hours) to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
  • Upgrade to high efficiency, energy star certified equipment. Using an energy star certified dish machine can save an average of over £1,000 annually when compared to a standard model.
  • Perform equipment maintenance regularly in order to keep it from working harder than it needs to. For example, keeping refrigerator coils clean and replacing water filters on-time enhances the efficiency of the units.
  • Reduce water consumption and lower your water bill with simple solutions such as using low-flow spray valves, installing low-flow aerators and repairing leaky wash basins.
  • Switch out incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient lighting. Not only will you save on your utility costs, you will also help the environment by conserving energy and lowering greenhouse emissions.
  • Make sure to use LED lightbulbs in your kitchen and prep areas because they don’t emit as much heat as incandescent bulbs.
  • Train staff to follow your energy-efficient protocols and continually remind post-training with signage throughout your kitchen.
  • If you haven’t started already, invest in green technology so that your business is less exposed to energy price hikes in years to come.
  • Contact your utility company directly about providing an assessment of how much energy you use and how much it’s costing you. Once you have this information, you will be in a better position to set realistic goals and implement an energy conservation plan.
  • Partner with Enhance to get you the best market pricing. We have experts in energy management and work with many utility suppliers who will offer the most competitive pricing.

Of course, there are many other ways to conserve energy and lower your expenses but we hope these will help you get started. Our team is also here to assist if you are interested in comparing energy pricing from alternative suppliers. If so, contact us today.