Saving electricity in restaurants

Restaurant electricity consumption savings practices and techniques.

Please have a qualified electrical specialist check and advise you on any of the suggestions below before you just implement any of the items or systems suggested. There might be costs and business interruption involved. Qualified specialists should be able to advise you in advance on the potential value of the savings and how long it would be for you to get a return on your additional investment.

Potential Grants:

There might be Government grants (within South Africa, but also in your country) available for becoming more energy-efficient, check on:

Best practices for Electricity Savings in your Restaurant

  • Manage your geyser(s) daily
  • Switch it off if unused and implement a switch on/off chart visibly in your kitchen.
  • Install a timer on your geyser and allow the geyser to warm up in quiet times when you are not using lots of energy in other areas.
  • Cover your hot water heater with an insulation blanket and reduce atmospheric heat loss.
  • Reduce the temperature of your geyser thermostat to 65°C or less.
  • Invest in a solar geyser and save up to 40% on your electricity bill.
  • Save up to 8% on your bill by insulating your front of the house effectively. Avoid open doors and windows while your air conditioning is running.
  • Consider installing energy-efficient windows, caulking of frames, and check that all rubbers, seals, and slides are functional.
  • Ensure that all phases on your DB Board are balanced.
  • Replace your old bulbs with LED equivalent. They use 90% less electricity and last up to 20 years.
  • Invest in energy STAR commercial food service appliances and electronics.
  • Save 6% on your bill by switching off your appliances at the wall at night or after closing hours.
  • Run full loads in the dishwasher.
  • Don’t set your fridge temperature colder than necessary: set your refrigerator between 2°C and 5°C and your freezer between -20°C and – 22°C.
  • Ensure that your door seals are in good working order that warm air does not make your refrigeration system work overtime.
  • Track your consumption with a power consumption tracking dashboard, for example, Smappee. SMAPPEE is a comprehensive energy consumption management system.
  • Implement a switching-off procedure for each piece of equipment.
  • Implement a switching-on procedure for each piece of equipment.
  • The switching on and off procedures allow for control over the spikes in consumption when switching on and to save energy not having equipment labouring unnecessary and extending the lifespan of the implements. Use timers and if possible remote controls on your schedule.
  • Install heat pumps on your refrigeration units and pump pre-heated water into your geyser and so using less electricity to heat up your geyser.
  • Ensure that your equipment is checked that all earth wires are correctly connected.
  • Check all plug wiring.
  • Check all thermostats are working and switching on and off as required.
  • Check that no taps are leaking or dripping, especially those connected to your geyser.
  • Install a variable speed drive on your extraction system.
  • Install motion sensors in your bathrooms, storerooms, and fridges.
  • Energy-efficient equipment, especially fryers and dishwashers.
  • Cleans and de_dust the coils and condensers of your refrigeration and air conditioning units.
  • Check calcification and scale build-up in water filtration and cooking systems.
  • Invest in smart thermostats that can be controlled remotely.
  • Use unheated hand dryers. This could save up to 80% of these unit’s consumption.
  • Use heat induction equipment where possible the heat goes directly to the item you want to heat or cook and you do not lose energy to the atmosphere like with a flame.
  • Use condensation hoods above the dishwasher and steam equipment to remove the heat out of the atmosphere.
  • Improve your kitchen layout and consider hot and cold air reticulation.
  • Consistently train your staff on the energy efficiency protocols and put up visual reminders.
  • Implementation of a preventative maintenance schedule. 
  • Consider the replacement of old equipment.
  • Consider a double door entryway or an air curtain.

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Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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