Saving energy in a restaurant or foodservice operation can lead to greater profitability. In fact, according to ENERGY STAR, restaurants use from five to seven times more energy per square foot than all other types of commercial buildings.
This is even more true in places like Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, where scorching temperatures can require greater quantities of conditioned air, additional loads on walk-in refrigerators and freezers, and other demands caused by Florida's hot and humid climate. But there are ways to take advantage of this and actually increase profitability.
Here are Three Ways to Save Energy in Florida Restaurants or Foodservice Operations
In reality, lighting is one of the easiest ways to save energy in Florida restaurants. In some cases, it only requires switching out existing bulbs for more energy efficient ones. The other way you can reduce lighting bills is to train employees to turn off lights in areas of the operation when they're not in use. In fact, training employees to be more energy efficient with all equipment can impact just about all aspects of energy usage.
HVAC and VENTILATION
The more air that escapes a kitchen exhaust hood, the more air that has to be "made up" inside the operation. In Florida, the air that has to be made up is usually conditioned, meaning there was an associated cost to cool air that is being replaced with hot air from outside.
With smart ventilation systems such as demand control kitchen ventilation, exhaust fans are only operating when they're needed at power levels only required to remove existing smoke and grease. There are two main benefits to this. First, when the fan only operates when needed as opposed to constantly running, less energy will be used. Second, when exhaust fans run, make up air is needed. Demand control kitchen ventilation will ultimately lower your air conditioning bill, as well, which is a big bonus in Florida.
The other area where energy savings can have a major impact is refrigeration and freezing. With walk-ins that have tight seals and processes that ensure cold air doesn't escape, refrigeration costs will obviously be lower.
There is also equipment that can reduce refrigeration costs in Florida restaurants, as well. Similar to smart ventilation, there are smart defrost controls for commercial walk-in freezers that will only operate when needed. Many defrost options run on timers, but with smart defrost controls, these will only operate when the potential for frost buildup exists.
Compression can also save energy for Florida restaurants. With solutions like the RDT Eco-Cool system, fewer compressors are required to operate larger volumes of refrigeration. While building redundancy into the system, operators can simultaneously save up to 50 percent on electricity costs.
Are there other ways to save energy in Florida restaurants and foodservice operations?
Absolutely. If you're interested to learn about other options or to get a deeper understanding of the ones listed above, we invite you to schedule a free energy savings assessment for Florida restaurants and foodservice operations from our expert team at Eaton Marketing. This assessment is completely free and will only arm you with knowledge about reducing your utility bills. And in this business, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.