With energy prices hitting us all hard, the hospitality industry is getting hit even harder as energy prices skyrocket due to global gas shortages and demand increases, even with the planned Energy Bill Relief for businesses announced by the UK Government last week it is still important to keep energy consumption as low as possible to make rising costs more bearable.
We’ve put together some energy saving tips for your commercial kitchen:
Have you cleaned and serviced your catering equipment recently?
If your catering equipment needs cleaning it’s going to have to work harder for you – meaning, it will cost you more money! Making sure you clean and service your equipment regularly will contribute to energy savings and keep your equipment going for longer.
Fridge checks are also really important – if your condenser coils in the unit are blocked by dust it will prevent the unit from expelling heat – this means your fridge has to work extra hard to reach the food-safe temperatures required for your catering business. Ensure your fridges are defrosted regularly and have at least a 5cm gap around them for good ventilation.
Is your thermostat at the right temperature?
Make sure your thermostat is at the correct temperature, as just 1°C too low ramps up energy use by 2-4%. Make sure you check the correct temperature for what you are storing, for example, a change from -25°C to -20°C in a freezer can save 10-15% of refrigeration energy and still keep food safe and improve your energy saving.
Is your catering equipment energy-efficient?
If you are still seeing rises in your energy even after cleaning and servicing your equipment it may be time to invest in better energy-efficient catering equipment and although this is a significant up-front cost you will see a return after a short period.
If you are at the point where you need to invest in better energy-efficient catering equipment make sure you consider the following:
- Induction hobs transfer heat immediately to the pan meaning they are 15%-20% more efficient than conventional gas or electric hobs.
- Combo-steam/convection ovens are proven 25-50% more efficient than other cooking appliances. Some even use waste heat to preheat water saving an additional 16-30% of energy
- Microwaves are a little bit of magic in the kitchen, they use little energy when not in use and are ideal for defrosting, reheating and cooking smaller batches of food.
- Consider using griddles over grills as they lose less heat and require less extraction.
- The most efficient deep fat fryers should reach cooking temperature in 10-12 minutes (or less)
- Don’t forget your dishwasher – check that you are running ‘full’ loads, if not, consider downsizing.
If it’s not in use, turn it off!
Ensuring you turn off all your equipment and regulating heating during quiet periods of the day can make a huge difference to your bills.
– Switch off lights
- Turn off the radio (yes, this will help too!)
- Switch off fryers and ovens that don’t need to be on
On the topic of lighting above, now is the time to switch all your bulbs to LED which uses about 75-80% less energy than traditional light bulbs. Not only will you be helping your electricity bill you will be reducing greenhouse gas emissions – which will help the environment.
Ventilation and air circulation
Did you know that your ventilation and air circulation can account for 11% of the electricity you use in your commercial kitchen? It is necessary to have good ventilation to create a safe working environment it should include smoke capture, grease extraction and disposal, fire protection, control of external emissions and heat recovery. Ensure your ventilation is off or at its lowest level outside work hours and turn off kitchen fans when not in use. Finally, ensure filters are kept clean, this can increase efficiency by as much as 50%.
Although we know we can’t change the current situation with energy costs we hope this blog gives you a few pointers to make your commercial kitchen a little more energy-efficient hopefully resulting in reduced energy costs.