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5 Ways Your Restaurant Can Save Energy

If it seems like your power bill is soaking up your profits, you're not alone. According to Energy Star, restaurants use around 2.5 times more electricity than any other commercial establishment. You can expect between 3% and 5% of your total expenses to go to the utility, with every square foot of space equating to an average cost of $2.90 per year.

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The good news is that there are many ways to bring that number down and ensure that you aren't left in the dark. Aside from boosting your bottom line, taking measures to reduce your energy usage can also improve your green credentials. This may contribute to tax advantages, as well as a better public image. Here are 5 ways to make it happen.

Buy the Right Equipment

Ovens, fryers, washers, refrigerators and other appliances are some of your main resource guzzlers. When the time comes where you need to upgrade or replace equipment, investing in a more efficient option will save you money in the long run. Look out for the Energy Star label when shopping around.

A dish machine with said certification can lead to an annual saving of $1,500 compared to models without the label. There are also incentives and rebates in certain locations for restaurants that choose Energy Star equipment.

Switch Your Lightbulbs

Depending on your current setup, you might be able to save a substantial amount of money by opting for modern LED or CFL fixtures. Not only do they use less energy, but they also last much longer. An incandescent light lasts between 1,000 and 2,000 hours, while your typical LED will shine for 10,000 to 25,000 hours before needing replacement.

Perform an Audit

Also known as an energy assessment, lighting audits can provide a detailed insight into how you can reduce your electricity usage and related maintenance costs. An inspector will analyze the conditions of your fixtures and equipment before drawing up an appropriate plan.

In addition to helping you lower your utility bill, energy audits can also reveal solutions for improving your heating and cooling systems, as well as cutting down your environmental impact.

Get Your Team Involved

Organize a staff meeting to ensure that everyone is aware of your mission. It's a good idea to be upfront about your current energy expenditure. Emphasize that you don't just want to save money, but also the environment.

Be sure to ask for feedback and encourage discussion about what can be done. Consider setting goals with incentives to keep energy saving on top of everyone's mind.

Rethink Deliveries

Regular off-hours deliveries drain more than just your time. Each new batch of stock has to be taken inside, which means turning on the lights, heating and HVAC systems. Propping the door open makes the latter two work harder. Contact your suppliers and see if it's possible to consolidate or reschedule deliveries.

While certainly beneficial, these aren't the only ways your restaurant can save energy. Give it some thought and you'll likely come across a few more solutions.

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