While restaurant owners have the potential to have great success, they can only do so if their bills remain at a reasonable rate. One of the best ways to reduce the cost of spending in a restaurant is to reduce energy expenditure.
Here is a list of ten things you can do to lower your energy bill and bring down your total cost of operation.
- Upgrade lighting. Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting will save you money on electricity bills, and the switch is easy to make.
- Install occupancy sensors. While some areas of a restaurant, like the kitchen and seating area, will always need lighting, other spaces are not always occupied. Consider adding occupancy sensors to areas such as the restrooms and storage rooms so that the lights will remain off unless someone enters the room.
- Use programmable thermostats. To ensure that heating and cooling systems are only used when necessary, install programmable thermostats to help regulate heating and cooling. For example, during the hot summer months, there is no need to keep your restaurant at 70 degrees when the doors are not open for business. A programmable thermostat would allow you to adjust the temperature setting so that you are only paying for the energy you need to keep your business welcoming and comfortable.
- Insulate the building. Another way to reduce heating and AC expense is to ensure your building is properly insulated. This will reduce heat loss in winter and keep the building cooler in the summer.
- Conduct regular maintenance. This tip is simple, but it is often overlooked. Conduct regular maintenance on equipment such as heating and cooling systems, refrigeration units, and water heaters to keep them running efficiently.
- Reduce water consumption. Restaurants will always need to use a significant amount of water, but it is important to look for ways to scale back. Install low-flow faucets and toilets to reduce water consumption and repair leaks as soon as they occur.
- Use energy-efficient windows. If designing a new building or remodeling an old building, consider installing energy-efficient windows can reduce heat gain and loss. This will reduce the need for heating and cooling while ensuring that your restaurant remains inviting to the public.
- Encourage employee participation. This tip will cost $0 to implement in your business. Encourage employees to turn off lights and equipment when they are not in use and to practice energy-saving behaviors such as reducing paper usage and turning off electronics at night.
- Use renewable energy. Consider installing solar panels to generate renewable energy and reduce dependence on traditional energy sources. The payback may take several years, but from that point forward, you will save money for years to come by lowering your monthly energy bill.
- Upgrade kitchen equipment. This tip will require a significantly higher initial investment, but the payoff will be worth it if the current equipment is inefficient. Upgrading items like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers can greatly reduce energy consumption and lower costs.