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Energy Solutions: A Guide for Restaurants

Chef and catering manager standing in front of the kitchen’s oven

Royal Vista Golf Club Orders Energy Savings

The Royal Vista Golf Club received a $1,000 cash incentive to upgrade to a more energy-efficient oven. They reduced their annual energy use by 18,000k kWh and saved $2,000 in its annual energy bill. With Time-Of-Use rates in effect, it’s worth taking advantage of similar energy-saving strategies for your business.


 

More Energy Management Success Stories

 

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Business Energy Advisor

For more highly customized recommendations about energy-saving equipment and solutions, schedule a free personalized consultation with one of our advisors.

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Finance Your Energy-Efficient Projects

Several restaurants have already taken advantage of energy-efficient equipment. To help your business receive these same cost-efficient benefits, we offer low-interest financing for qualified energy-efficient projects.


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Energy-Efficient Solutions and Tips for Restaurants

Here are just a few of the energy-efficient programs and suggestions that our customers have used to increase their cost efficiency. You’ll also find more business solutions in our Small Restaurant Fact Sheet and Institutional Food Service Fact Sheet, and a complete list of all our qualifying energy-efficiency incentives and demand response programs by requesting our Solutions Directory.

Lighting and Lighting Controls

Help improve your energy efficiency by better managing your lighting costs.

 

  • Install inexpensive occupancy sensors
  • Use LED bulbs and LED exit signs
  • Install dimmable ballasts to lower energy use in fluorescent lamps
  • Install sensory controllers on vending machines
  • Upgrade to new generation T8 lamps and fixtures


Your business may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.


Energy-Efficient Refrigeration and Cooking Equipment

Replace energy-guzzling used equipment with new, more efficient equipment to quickly add benefits to your bottom line. Upgrade to more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® certified deck ovens, fryers, griddles, steamers, and exhaust hoods.

 

  • Install refrigeration curtains and auto door closers on walk-ins and freezers
  • Switch to automatic sensor ice machines that turn off during TOU On-Peak hours
  • Replace worn seals and gaskets on refrigerator and freezer doors
  • Use night covers on both vertical and horizontal display cases


Your business can benefit from even more energy-efficient equipment options.


Cooling

Maximize your energy saving by effectively managing your air-conditioning systems.

 

  • Install programmable thermostats
  • Install window film and blinds to keep the heat out
  • Switch to LED bulbs and decrease the amount of office heat and A/C energy use
  • Sign up for HVAC Maintenance


There are many more energy-efficient solutions for your business.


Demand Response Programs (DR)

With these programs, receive bill credits for temporarily reducing energy use upon request during periods of high-energy demand. Choose the ones that best fit your operational needs.

 

 

Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR)

Receive energy savings by using smart technology that effortlessly and temporarily reduces the amount of energy your business uses (known as “load reduction”) during a DR event. With Auto-DR, load reduction is automatic and reliable, so it’s easier to participate in DR programs to capitalize on program earnings and help lower your energy costs.


 

A chef and manager standing in front of a plated meal

No-Cost, Do-It-Yourself Tips

Here are some immediate ways to significantly reduce your business energy use.

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Refrigerated Equipment and Cold-Storage Areas:

  • Maintain appropriate temperature settings in freezers (-8°F to -14°F) and refrigerators (35°F to 38°F)
  • Clean evaporator coils
  • Reduce air leakage in refrigerated cases
  • Turn down refrigerated storage and refrigerant compressors
  • Reschedule dishwashing/laundry processes before noon or after 6 p.m.
  • Delay use of electric resistance defrost controls and the use of anti-sweat heaters
  • Locate refrigerators away from heat sources
  • Turn off ice machines during TOU On-Peak hours and use a larger ice machine at night during TOU Off-Peak hours

Hot-Food Preparation Areas:

  • Place cooking appliances well within exhaust hoods
  • Minimize preheating energy use by following the manufacturer’s recommendations for preheat times and temperature settings
  • Set cooking schedules to use cooking equipment at full capacity
  • Unused and backup equipment can be turned off during low production periods
  • Reduce air leakage in ovens by making sure doors fit tightly and gaskets are in good condition

Offices and Back Rooms

  • Make sure HVAC settings are at minimum settings during hours of low use
  • Turn off all office equipment and lights during non-business hours
  • Pre-cool work areas, then cycle ventilation and A/C units
  • Reschedule dishwashing/laundry processes before noon or after 6 p.m.
  • Replace older, less water-efficient equipment
  • Install new, water-efficient commercial equipment to minimize water demand
  • Make comprehensive changes to industrial processes to reduce water consumption
  • Change industrial process water system to reuse processed wastewater
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