As the United States turns the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic and restaurant owners determine their reopening plans or reassess long-term operating strategies, this could be an opportune time to consider other business goals, including reducing operating costs through energy efficiency. Making energy choices that count is good for a restaurant’s bottom line and the climate.
Commercial kitchen equipment is extremely energy intensive. For example, one deep-fat fryer typically uses more than 18,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually. This is more electricity than the average American household uses in a year (about 12,000 kWh/yr). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program makes energy-saving purchase decisions simple by identifying products that are independently certified to meet the highest energy conservation standards.
Nine commercial foodservice equipment categories are eligible for the Energy Star label: ovens, griddles, fryers, hot food holding cabinets, steam cookers, refrigerators/freezers, ice machines, dishwashers and coffee makers. The EPA estimates that outfitting a commercial kitchen with a suite of commercial foodservice equipment that has earned the Energy Star label could save an operator nearly $5,300 per year and prevent approximately 39,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. For added savings, restaurant operators can take advantage of efficient options more broadly, for example in heating and cooling, lighting, digital signage displays and more.
Energy Star resources make the purchase of Energy Star commercial foodservice equipment even easier. Restaurant owners can identify and compare eligible brands, models and features on energystar.gov. Website users can find information on how to locate dealers/distributors that sell Energy Star-certified equipment, find local rebates to lower the equipment purchasing costs or learn other helpful tips. To demonstrate your businesses’ commitment to energy efficiency and environmental protection even further, Energy Star offers voluntary partnerships to manufacturers, dealers/distributors and restaurant operators. Among the many benefits these partnerships offer is access to the Energy Star logo and other promotional materials for use on a website, social media page and marketing materials.
Now is the time for restaurant owners to make a difference for their bottom line and the environment. Start your energy efficiency journey by identifying cost-effective approaches to manage your energy use with Energy Star tools and resources today!