Are you investing your energy resources wisely? The following tips provide ideas for maintaining an energy efficient operation.
Track energy consumption
Tracking your monthly electricity, water, sewer, trash and natural gas consumption is a first step toward managing your impact and monitoring the effectiveness of efficiency improvements. If you're an independent operator or local chain, get audits from local utilities and municipalities. Many organizations provide free energy, water and waste audits in addition to advice, technical and sometimes financial assistance for upgrades and program development. Take advantage of these free professional services.
Schedule or automate equipment startup
Leaving equipment on standby costs you money, and so does turning on your equipment before it is needed. Design and implement a startup and shutdown plan to ensure that you are only using the equipment that you need when you need it. The savings can be substantial. Fryers use the most electricity when they are warming up in the morning, whereas ovens use the most energy while pre-heating. If you are using both at the same time, you may be setting a high-usage level, which will cost you.
Shift your ice production time
Install a timer and shift ice production to nighttime, off-peak hours. Most restaurants pay less for electricity at night, and you'll eliminate the distraction of a hot, noisy piece of equipment during normal kitchen hours.
Adjust your hot water set point
Typically, a dishwasher requires the highest set point of an operation. Given that heating water accounts for approximately nine percent of a restaurant's energy consumption, or $2,900 annually, measuring water temperatures can result in significant savings. Adjust your water heater temperature to the lowest possible setting that allows you to meet health codes, which is usually 140 degrees.
Allow for air circulation around refrigerators and freezers
Refrigerators remove heat from inside the box and eject that heat through the coils on the top or bottom of the unit. When you are cleaning around these units, do not push your reach-ins into tight spaces where the heat will build up, forcing the unit to work harder and use more energy.
Defrost food regularly
Develop a frozen food pull schedule to avoid the practice of defrosting food under running hot water. If a two-gallon-per-minute faucet is used forthis purpose one hour every day for a year, the cost may exceed $800.
Retrofit sprayers with low-flow spray valves
A low-flow spray valve could save you more than $1,000 annually. And don't worry, low-flow doesn't mean slow. Low-flow spray valves are engineered to work as well as or better than standard valves.
Install sink faucet aerators
Hand-sink faucets can use as much as 10 gallons of water per minute when not equipped with efficient water aerators. Outfit the hand sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms with low-flow aerators. You will cut water use and ultimately save on water-heating costs.
A faucet that leaks one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year. A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water a day. Repairing hot water leaks will result in significantly higher savings.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Follow the 3 Rs of waste management: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce waste by composting food scraps. Reuse furniture and flooring. Recycle paper, plastics, glass and aluminum.
1. If you have to eat in a hurry, eat a salad, difficult as that might be.
2. Food wrapped in plastic or Styrofoam is ethical only if you're an astronaut.
3. Know how the animal you eat was raised. You can lead an unexamined life, but your food cannot.
4. Transform your front lawn into a garden. (Be prepared for neighbors to consider you a fruitcake—or worse, a European.)
5. Unless your mom cooks from scratch, she has no business telling you what to eat.6. Nobody's health ever declined from eating unadvertised products.
7. Consider vegans a warning sign of ethical eating run amok.
8. Buying eleven-grain bread instead of seven-grain bread does not make you a better person.9. The $4.99 all-you-can-eat pancake special at IHOP is not an ethical meal, even without bacon.
10. If you have to eat in airports, don't. (But you already knew that.)
From "Eat No Evil," Alan Richman's account of thirty days spent trying to dine ethically in GQ's July 2010 issue
1) Is Your Kitchen Ventilation System Balanced?
HVAC Systems account for 28% of the total energy usage of the average commercial kitchen. More often than not, the way your kitchen ventilation system was designed and how it was actually installed vary tremendously. Differences in static pressure and system effect can result in actual exhaust and supply airflow rates that exceed or drastically fall short of what they were initially designed. This can lead to a very uncomfortable kitchen/dining area, a smokey kitchen, and most definitely, unseen energy losses from an added strain placed on your regular building HVAC System. A simple visit by a KAI certified technician can determine whether or not your system is within 10% of design.
2) Is each of your cooking appliances pushed back as far as possible to the wall?
This is the simplest yet most overseen item that can drastically improve the capture and containment performance of your exhaust hood. Increased Overhang = Increased Capture.
3) Are you currently using full or partial end-panels on your hood?
Adding Full or Quarter end-panels to either side of your hood can decrease your exhaust airflow rates subsequently saving you money in utility costs. This is a very inexpensive way to cut costs.
4) Is your system running at maximum efficiency? Are there any leaks or uninsulated portions of your supply air duct work?
If you are paying money to heat or cool Make-Up-Air, you want to make sure that that this air is not being subject to thermal losses or gains between when it is heated/cooled and when it is distributed to the kitchen.
5) Have you considered installing a demand-based exhaust control?
Advances to Energy Management Systems that operate automatically off of cooking exhaust temperatures have increased dramatically over the past few years. Initial investment costs of these energy saving systems have dropped substantially and government incentive tax rebates have decreased the pay-back periods as low as 1 to 2 years. In addition, Energy Management Systems are able to be installed to existing systems in addition to new construction projects making them available to all users.
This is the best time to call and inquire about a system that will save you money today. For more information pertaining to the operation and a free quotation of these systems, contact us today.
Tel #: 1.267.987.8855
Brought to you from Kitchen Air Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO—The W San Francisco hotel here has now attained Silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. According to the hotel’s manager, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the property is the first existing hotel belonging to a major brand that has attained the certification.
In total, seven existing hotels across the U.S. have attained the Silver LEED ranking.
The W San Francisco’s LEED attributes include the facts that 70% of its guestroom lighting and 90% of its back-of-the-house lighting is energy efficient by using compact fluorescent lighting and LED bulbs as well as motion sensors, among other technologies; the new HVAC cooling towers save 300 kilowatts per year; motion sensors power off the HVAC system in unoccupied guestrooms; and there are Energy Star power management features on all of the hotel’s PCs.
The hotel is also now considering installing wind turbines on its roof, which would be a first for a commercial building in San Francisco.
Furthermore, all food and beverage served for meetings at the W San Francisco is organic, biodynamic and local.
Green Spotlight: Reuseful Ideas
Plastic, glass bottles, corks, used oil: Restaurants increasingly are finding ways to repurpose these in everything from countertops to hand soap. Some inspiration:
Dali Wine Bar & Cellar, Dallas: Corks are donated to school art programs or sent to a cork-recycling company. Used corks also are embedded into the bar’s resin counter.
Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles: When the two concepts’ used vegetable oil is converted into biodiesel, the remaining glycerin, a byproduct of the conversion process, is made into hand soap that’s used in the restaurants.
Big Bowl, multiple locations: Recycled plastic bottles are one of the post-consumer materials in the fabric used to make the chain’s new employee uniforms.
Pizza Fusion, multiple locations: After finding recycled-glass countertops to be cost-prohibitive, the chain called on a Florida artisan, who now hand-crafts counters from a mix of concrete and used glass bottles gathered from Pizza Fusion locations.
Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, N.C.: A few years ago, Chef-instructor Paul Malcolm started collecting vegetable scraps in a bucket for use in his home compost pile. Students and faculty members now compost 60 tons of food waste per year at the school.
-Restaurants and Institutions, 9/2009
News from our manufacturer's & re-posts from publications around the hotel and restaurant industry.