There are several hours each day when restaurants can plan to be busy. From about 12–1:30 p.m. and 6–8:30 p.m., most dining rooms will be full of customers. Of course, this business is welcome, but with the rush of people also comes a spike in energy usage.
In order to keep your restaurant as profitable as possible, it’s important to know the best ways to manage energy during these peak hours.
Since appliances and HVAC units will be in full demand during these busy hours, having energy-efficient equipment will significantly help to lower costs. It will take an upfront investment, but switching to energy-efficient models is guaranteed to lower your cost of operation and help out your bottom line over time.
To keep your HVAC units working as efficiently as possible, make sure that they are regularly maintenanced by a professional. A good rule of thumb is to have your HVAC units serviced twice each year—once in the spring and once in the fall. (Read more about the importance of HVAC maintenance here!)
You would also benefit from closing or opening the blinds in relation to the season of the year. For example, if the summer heat is making your AC units work double time, close the blinds well before the heat of day. On the other hand, let the warm sunlight fill your dining area on cold winter days to help ease your heater’s burden.
While natural lighting can affect the energy expenditure of your business, so can the artificial lighting. If you haven’t already, consider switching to LED lighting to help save you some big dollars. (For a more detailed explanation of light fixtures, read this article!)
Another important addition to your restaurant is an intelligent energy management system (EMS). Having an EMS is one of the most important things you can do to help with efficient temperature regulation, especially during peak hours. (Not convinced? Read this article and you will be!)
You may also want to talk to your energy provider about the option of time of use (TOU) pricing. The main idea behind TOU pricing is to reflect the changing costs of producing and distributing electricity throughout the day, so the cost of energy will be higher during the peak time of use (typically early evening), but the rate will lessen during off-peak periods. If you have the flexibility at your restaurant to adjust your electricity usage to take advantage of the lower rates during off-peak hours, then TOU pricing might offset the high cost of the energy used during the peak period, saving you money in the end.
As always, it is highly recommended that you schedule an energy audit so that you can know the specific issues to address in your restaurant. (Don’t know how to conduct an energy audit? Read this article!) An energy audit will help you develop a plan in lowering you energy usage, and it may reveal results that are different than what you had expected.
Implementing these tips is sure to lower the costs associated with the energy needed during peak business hours, but don’t underestimate the importance of having a personalized plan. If you want an energy saving plan that is designed for your unique situation and business, contact us at GWT2Energy today, and we’ll get you set up for some major savings!