Small Business Saturday Blog

Small Food Businesses Save Money Via Energy Efficiency in 2015

Tuesday, March 03 at 09:24Energy Savings

Per square foot, restaurants consume nearly three times the energy of the average commercial building. Largely due to the long hours of operation and use of highly specialised equipment, oftentimes food service buildings are excessive and wasteful in their energy consumption.As a result, food businesses across the UK will be looking to save money on operations in 2015. One easy way to do this is to make kitchens more energy efficient.
Invest in Energy Efficient EquipmentAs most small food business entrepreneurs know, one powerful way to save money is by investing in energy-efficient appliances and equipment. While initial purchase costs may be higher, these energy-efficient appliances can help you achieve your sustainability goals and save your food business money in the long run.Around 50% of energy use in restaurants and other food businesses goes to refrigeration alone. Appliances like refrigerators have tangible money saving benefits on the cost of energy month to month. Other appliances, such as fryers, can also make a big impact on energy cost savings. The more expensive (and more energy efficient) fryers operate better, which extends the life of the oil and provides additional savings. Also consider investing in demand control ventilation systems. Unlike typical hoods, which generally account for about 20% of all energy use in a kitchen because they turn on at full power whenever any equipment is turned on, these demand control systems have sensors that monitor equipment use and ramp up or slow down exhaust as needed, resulting in less energy use.Embrace New TechnologyIn 2015, we’re seeing a number of new smartphone apps as well as commercial kitchen and food service product introductions that feature smartphone and iPad app remote control capability.Restaurant and food business owners can monitor energy use with the UK-developed app Meter Readings. By tracking data like energy usage and costs over different periods, the app actually begins to understand and control energy usage.Manufacturers have also risen to the challenge of making commercial kitchens more energy-efficient. One example is the development of heat recovery systems for dishwashers and refrigeration units. In these systems, the heat given off by the dishwasher’s waste water or the refrigerator’s condensing unit is recaptured and recycled to preheat the incoming water or air.Follow Local Environmental Regulations Venting and vent hoods are the most highly regulated elements in commercial kitchens. Vents and vent hoods are highly regulated because emissions from the venting of fume hoods are likely to involve small quantities of gases, fumes or dust.It is important to prevent emissions of noxious or offensive substances into the air, which is why this year we are currently seeing more and more equipment going ventless to comply with increasing local regulations on vent hoods. Regulations across the UK state that these substances must be rendered harmless or inoffensive before emission. Equipment must be examined at least every 14 months and you must keep records for five years.Businesses who repeatedly ignore the law will face fines. Be sure to save money by complying with new environmental regulations in 2015.Ross McAllister is the Director of the catering and food technology sales company Fridgeland, which has 18 years of experience in providing catering supplies to the UK and Ireland.


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