Energy Efficiency

In the United States, the restaurant industry is the number one consumer of electricity in the retail sector, accounting for 33% of total retail electricity use.  The industry’s intensive energy use results in significant air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, since approximately 82% of the electricity consumed in the US is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. 

 

About one third of the energy used by a restaurant powers the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, while another third is used for food preparation.  However, approximately 80% of the $10 billion annual energy bill of the national commercial food service industry could be eliminated with more efficient equipment.

 

Since a restaurant's profit margin is typically only 3% to 9% of total revenue, saving even a little money on energy and water operating costs through efficiency investments can increase a restaurant’s profit margin tremendously. 

 

The following section explains how food service facilities could be designed and outfitted to maximize energy efficiency according to six major energy use areas:

  1. Heating and cooling

  2. Exhaust

  3. Kitchen appliances

  4. Office equipment

  5. Lighting

  6. Water heating.

 

Top 5 Steps a Food Service Facility Can Take to Increase Energy Efficiency

  1. Replace conventional light bulbs with LED’s light bulbs throughout the facility

  2. Install strip curtains on all walk-ins

  3. When replacing equipment, purchase new equipment that meets Energy Star, Consortium for Energy Efficiency or FSTC’s standards for commercial food service equipment. This may require an additional up-front cost but you will start to see the savings in a matter of months to years.

  4. Install motion sensors in the restrooms, storage areas, walk-in coolers and office space. This can reduce lighting needs in these areas by over 50%. Be sure to choose the right type of sensor for each space (i.e. low temperature sensors for your walk-ins).

  5. Schedule annual, preventive maintenance for your HVAC system, refrigeration and cooking equipment. As a result, your equipment will operate more  efficiently and last longer.

 

 

  1. Heating and cooling

HVAC systems account for approximately 28% of energy consumption in an average restaurant, so increasing the efficiency of your heating or cooling system will have a significant impact on your utility costs.  In general, the key to efficiency in this area is to minimize heat transfer. In this section the GRA recommends simple ways to keep a restaurant cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

 

  1. Entry 

 

Many businesses keep their front doors wide open to create an inviting entrance for potential customers. Unfortunately, this wastes a large amount of energy and causes the heating or air conditioning system to work extra hard.

 

Standard: Install a wind trap at the main entrance of the restaurant to reduce the amount of cold air that enters the restaurant. Examples of a wind trap are:

  1. Velvet curtain directly inside the entrance;

  2. Simple structure built outside the entranceway.

 

BMP: Instruct employees to close store doors when outside temperatures are uncomfortably hot or cold, thereby improving the efficiency of the HVAC system. 

 

 

 

  1. Windows: Window Film & Window Shades

 

Standard: Improving the insulating properties of pre-existing windows can be achieved through low emissivity (low-E) reflective window film, which has a special coating on the surface to reduce radiant heat transfer. When installed in windows facing south or west that receive direct sunlight, low-e film helps block heat from entering the store in the summer, and helps retain heat in the winter.  Low-e film also blocks 92% of glare and eliminates 99% of the harmful ultraviolet radiation to protect fabrics and finishes.

 

Awnings and shrubbery can also be employed to block incoming solar radiation in the summer in windows facing south and west.

 

When purchasing new windows choose Energy Star windows with a U-factor as close to 0.3 as possible, and a solar heat gain coefficient as close to 0.27 as possible. The window U-factor measures the rate of heat loss from a building. The lower the U-value, the greater a window's resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value.  The solar heat gain coefficient indicates how well a product blocks heat from the sun. A low SHGC means the window transmits less solar heat.

 

 

  1. Roof

The sunlight absorbed through a building’s roof can be a major source of heat gain during the intense summer months.

 

Standard: Reflective coatings prevent solar heat from penetrating the building and protect your roof from UV and water damage.

 

Beyond reducing heat load, it is important to consider the financial feasibility of incorporating photovoltaic solar roof tiles or shingles, or solar panels that can generate electricity for your location.  Another possibility is solar thermal panels that transfer the sun’s energy to your water heater avoiding the use of electricity or gas to heat your water.

 

  1.  Weather-stripping & Insulation

Most commercial spaces are anything but airtight. Leaks around electrical plates, under doors, or around windows can add up to large holes.

 

Standard: Sealing these spaces with weather-stripping is a very inexpensive way to ensure that outside air remains outside, and does not add to the heating and cooling load of your HVAC system. Re-insulating walls and attics also help to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat intrusion during the summer.

 

 

  1. Programmable thermostat

Standard: Install a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling systems in the building. It should have a battery to provide back-up power in the event of a power outage and a different program for each day of the week so you can match the run times to your operating hours. Set you thermostat to 70oF during the heating season and 78oF during the cooling season for additional savings, since every degree of extra heating or cooling increases energy costs by 4-5%. 2

 

  1. Energy Management System (EMS)

Standard: For even greater energy savings, integrate your thermostat into an Energy Management System (EMS). An EMS controls, heating, cooling, lighting, and all energy-related aspects of a building. It can be programmed to include a night setback mode to cut down heating and cooling, and turn-off equipment and lights when the building is unoccupied.

 

BMP: Track energy usage using a tool such as Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. This will allow you to see how usage changes as you implement energy efficiency measures. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager

 

During slower periods, group customers so that heating/cooling can be turned off in unoccupied areas.

 

  1. Ceiling fans

Standard: When temperatures do get warmer, ceiling fans can keep your clients feeling comfortable while cutting energy use by 80% over an air conditioner. In the winter, the fan direction can be reversed to gently circulate warm air from the ceiling back down to customer level.

 

 

  1. High-efficiency HVAC

Standard: When choosing HVAC equipment, select models that meet the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s (CEE)  standards for efficiency, available at: http://library.cee1.org/sites/default/files/library/7559/CEE_CommHVAC_UnitarySpec2012.pdf

 

 

 

  1. Fresh air heat exchanger

Commercial buildings must provide a minimal amount of ventilation by law. Unfortunately, this results in energy losses as conditioned air is discharged outside.

 

Standard: To minimize the reduction in efficiency, consider the purchase of a fresh air heat exchanger. In addition to providing a consistent supply of fresh air, a heat exchanger can help significantly lower heating costs during the winter by transferring heat from the exhaust air to the fresh air stream. In the summer, it also reduces the load on the air conditioner by lowering the temperature of the fresh outdoor air. The heat exchanger dries humid incoming air more efficiently than an air conditioner and reduces the energy needed by the latter.

 

BMP: Check your HVAC system each year for coolant and air leaks, clogs, obstructions of air intake and vents, or misaligned ducts, and repair as needed.

 

Clean dust and debris from heat-transfer coils, condenser coils and evaporator coils from your HVAC system and refrigerators.

 

 

  1. Exhaust

Most kitchens operate at less than 25% capacity during the day, while the exhaust hood continues to run at 100% capacity. 

 

Standard: By installing variable volume controls to reduce fan capacity, ensuring the proper placement of an exhaust hood, and selecting hoods with additional efficiency features, a restaurant can achieve tremendous energy savings.

 

  1. Variable volume

Make sure the hood has controls to reduce the speed of the exhaust fans and the rate of the make-up air unit according to fluctuating usage. Using the following variable volume features can result in 10% to 50% energy savings compared to standard exhaust hood installations:

 

Standard: “Smart” controls:

Using a temperature or optical sensor these controls sense when the exhaust hood needs to be on, based on the exhaust hood air temperature or smoke volume.

 

BMP: Two-speed blowers:

When the entire grill/fryer is not being used, you can lower the ventilation rate over the appliance and reduce both make-up air and the energy needed to condition it.

 

 

  1. Wall mounted

Standard: Wall-mounted, rather than free standing, exhaust canopies require lower air velocities to do the same job. Lower air velocities mean smaller fan motors and less make-up air to heat or cool. If hood can’t be wall mounted install side and/or back panels on canopy hoods to increase effectiveness and reduce heat gain.

 

 

  1. Back-mounted extractor

BMP: Placing the exhaust hood extractor at the front of the hood rather than the back is more efficient because it takes advantage of the natural convective flow of the exhaust.

 

  1. Appliance grouping

BMP: Group appliances according to effluent production and associated ventilation requirements. Specify different ventilation rates for hoods or hood sections over the different duty classification of appliances. (In other words, think about the placement of your appliances with the hood in mind – place high smoking appliances in the center of the hood, rather than the end, and place the highest capacity hoods around the highest smoking appliances).

 

  1. Adjustable baffles or engineered proximity hoods

Adjustable baffles allow you to control height of the exhaust hood for different appliances, 

 

Standard: Engineered proximity hoods exhibit low capture and containment flow rates because they are installed close to the appliances. In some cases, a proximity hood performs the same job as a wall-mounted canopy hood at one-third the exhaust rate. (Capture and containment is the ability of the hood to capture and contain grease-laden cooking vapors, convective heat and other products of cooking processes.)

 

  1. Kitchen Appliances

 

As previously mentioned, nearly 80% of restaurant utility costs are a result of equipment inefficiency.  When selecting new appliances it is well worth an additional upfront investment to select only the most efficient models on the market, which are often more than 50% more efficient than conventional models.

A large part of efficiency, however, includes smart operational use of these appliances.

 

BMP: Develop a regular maintenance schedule for all equipment, especially walk-ins, grills, HVAC, and refrigeration.

 

Regularly inspect equipment and perform temperature checks to be sure you’re using only as much water, gas, or electricity as you need.

 

Implement a start up and shut down schedule for equipment and lights so that they are turned off when not in use.

 

To reduce electricity demand during peak periods, identify energy intensive tasks that can be shifted to off-peak hours. For example, set your ice machine to produce most of the ice at night.

 

Don’t blast pilot lights and exhaust fans. Only use as much heat as you need. For example, once a pot of water has reached a boil, find the minimum settings required to maintain the boil.

 

Cut idle time:

  • Establish and periodically review start-up and shutdown schedules for all major kitchen equipment.

  • Leave equipment off until it is needed Follow manufacturers' suggestions for operating all kitchen equipment - you can reduce energy use by scheduling pre-heating times.

 

Cook efficiently:

  • Ovens tend to be more efficient than rotisseries; griddles tend to be more efficient than broilers. Examine your cooking methods and menu and find ways to rely on your more-efficient appliances.

  • Cover pots and pans to retain heat and decrease cooking times.

  • Do not allow fans to blow directly onto any cooking surfaces and equipment.

  • Use sinks full of water rather than running water for washing pots and cleaning vegetables.

 

Maintain and repair:

  • Schedule regular maintenance checks for leaky gaskets, clogged burner, or loose door hinges, etc.…

 

Recalibrate:

  • Thermostats and control systems can fail or fall out of calibration, so recalibrate as necessary to ensure that you’re cooking at the right temperature.

  • Repair or replace broken control panels on ovens, steamers, and other appliances that feature control systems, and don’t forget to replace missing knobs on manually controlled appliances like ranges, griddles and broilers.

 

 

  1. Refrigeration: Reach-In & Under-counter

Standard: The most efficient refrigerators with high efficiency motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which allow them to meet Energy Star standards. Energy Star qualified refrigerators are 35% more efficient than their conventional counterparts.

 

BMP: Refrigerators work most efficiently when they are located away from any heat-generating appliances and heating ducts. Don’t keep your refrigerator in a tight space, where heat will build up and the unit will have to work harder.

 

Ensure doors fit and close properly - check the condition of gaskets, seals and condenser coils regularly to ensure that the former are not cracked and the latter are free of dust and dirt that might reduce their efficacy.

 

Turn off the door heater on your reach-in refrigerator or freezer (unless you notice frost around the door or dripping water on the floor, then turn it back on).

 

Refrigerators operate most efficiently when set at 37° F.

 

Freezers operate most efficiently is set between 0° and 5° F.

 

Allow hot food to cool before storing it in refrigerators and freezers.

 

Do not overfill refrigerator shelves - proper cooling occurs when air can circulate throughout.

 

Schedule regular checks for fans, condensers and compressors. Clean these items regularly since dirt buildup reduces efficiency.

 

Ensure refrigerator compressor belts maintain proper tension.

 

Defrost freezers frequently since frost buildups reduce efficiency.

 

Ensure freezer curtains remain in a vertical position to retain cool air and keep out warm air.

 

Oil stains near compressors may indicate leaks that should be serviced promptly.

 

  1. Refrigeration: Walk-In

Since walk-in coolers are custom built, there are no energy ratings available. Be sure to ask for these energy efficient features when you order your walk-in:

  1. Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM)

  2. Evaporative Condenser with Variable Speed Drive (in dry climates)

  3. Evaporator Fan Controller

  4. Automatic Defrost Timer

  5. Suction Line Insulation

  6. Fluorescent Interior Lighting

  7. Self-Closing Mechanism or Strip Curtains

  8. High Quality Door Gaskets

  9. Heat Recovery System (uses heat from walk-in to preheat water for dish machine)

           

  1. Ice Machine: Air Cooled

Standard: Most ice machines meet the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s Tier 2 standards for efficiency, which include standards for both energy and water efficiency. This set of standards covers both air cooled and water cooled ice machines, while Energy Star’s standards only apply to air cooled machine.

 

  1. Ovens & Other Gas Burning Appliances

Convection ovens are more efficient than regular ovens because they circulate hot air to ensure even cooking and rapid penetration of heat. Microwave ovens are the most efficient, because they heat food internally instead of heating the air around it.

 

BMP: Keep the door/lid closed on your steamers, braising pans, and food wells.

 

Check your older gas-burning appliances to make sure you’re using only as much gas, as you need.  Adjust the flames so that they are bullet shaped and mostly blue, rather than a tall yellow flame.

 

Use a timer to ensure that the steamer runs at full heat only when needed.

 

Do not preheat any longer than manufacturers' recommendations.

 

Shut it off - don’t waste energy by heating empty space—implement a shutdown schedule for all equipment

 

Heat only as many sections as required by the cooking load.

 

Turn char-broilers to medium as soon as briquettes are hot, and turn broiler flames to low between broiling operations. Shut them off during slow periods.

 

Clean and maintenance:

  • Inspect and clean burner orifices on gas broilers

  • Have a service contractor check gas burners at least once every six months.

  • Clean interior oven walls and elements to improve heat transfer.

  • Adjust door hinges, gaskets and moldings to maintain proper fits.

 

Rearrange ceramic material in under-fired broilers once a month to ensure even heat, and check ceramic and metal surfaces for deterioration. Replace when blackened or cracked.

 

Maintain a baking and roasting schedule so that oven capacity is always fully utilized and operating hours reduced.

 

Load and unload ovens quickly, and do not open doors unnecessarily. Food cooks faster and loses less moisture when oven doors are kept closed. Temperatures drop approximately 10°F for every second that doors are open.

 

Align broilers with exhaust hoods. When appliances get pulled out for cleaning and don’t make it all the way back under the exhaust hood it adds extra heat and smoke to the kitchen. Make sure that your broiler is fully under the hood and pushed as far back to the rear wall as possible. 

 

Make sure pot sizes match element sizes and use lids to boost efficiency and shorten cook times.

 

When gas elements are set on high, flame tips should just touch the bottom of pots, pans and kettles.

 

Check gas burners periodically. If flames are yellow or uneven, clean (don’t drill) the burner with a wire brush and make sure holes are unobstructed and adjust the air shutter by loosening and retightening it with a screw.

 

Regularly inspect safety controls and automatic lighters.

 

Check thermostats for accuracy and recalibrate, if necessary.

 

Use open ranges rather than full hot plate ranges.

 

Turn fryers off – or cover and reduce them to idling temperatures during slow periods - cutting out four hours of idle time each day could save around $250 annually for a gas fryer and about $350 for an electric fryer.

 

Check and recalibrate thermostats, and turn them only as high as necessary to reach frying temperatures. Temperatures ranging from 325°F to 350°F are ideal in modern high-speed fryers. If temperatures are too high, oil will break down. Regularly check the temperature of cooking oil with a reliable commercial thermometer to ensure heating elements and thermostat controls work properly.

 

During slow periods, turn off as many griddle burners as possible, and turn down other sections.

 

Have your service contractor periodically check gas-griddle fuel mixtures and adjust pilot lights to their lowest possible flames.

           

Consider griddles that feature both grooved and flat cooking surfaces—especially if you do a lot of broiling since griddles tend to be more efficient than broilers, and grooved griddles can achieve broiler-like char marks on food.

 

Cut standby time and use the timer so that the steamer runs at full heat only when needed.

Flush boilers at least once each week, following manufacturers' instructions.

 

Remove all deposits – such as rust, lime, film and scale – from water jackets and the outsides of containers.

 

Repair all steam leaks, no matter how small.

 

Invest in connectionless technology. Connectionless steamers require less maintenance than boiler-based steamers and consume far less energy and water.

 

Pasta Cookers:

  • Cut idle time - If you can’t shut it off consider turning it down.

  • Turn the thermostat down to just below boiling when you won't be cooking for an hour. The water will return to a full boil in seconds once you're ready to start the next load.

  • Find the minimum settings required to maintain a boil—your food will cook just as fast.

 

If you’re in the market for a braising pan, look for one with insulated walls.

 

 

  1. Dish Machine

Please see water efficiency, below.

 

 

  1. Miscellaneous Appliances

There are no energy efficiency standards for small food preparation equipment and most are not wasteful in their use of electricity unless they are left in standby mode.

 

Standard: This can best be done with timers installed at the socket, since this cuts power to the entire machine

 

BMP: All equipment should be turned off when not in use. Insulated coffee, tea, and cocoa carafes are currently being used to minimize the energy needed to keep these liquids warm. This is critical since these appliances are kept on all day. After the last shift, all electronics should be powered down to save energy over night.

 

  1. Office Equipment

 

Standard: In selecting office equipment for your restaurant, it is important to look for Energy Star certification.

 

BMP: While security systems must be on all day, consider turning off the monitor at night to save energy even as the cameras continue to record. Point-of-sale equipment should be turned off at night to save energy.

 

Turn off televisions in empty rooms and areas of the restaurant.

 

Combining the DSL modem and wireless router into one box saves resources, space, and energy. Since no significant differences exist between brands, select a modem/WLAN router combo based on price or other performance characteristics.

 

Set computers to standby or sleep after a certain period of inactivity. In addition, shut down computers and other office equipment, like faxes and printers, at night.

 

Standard: Finally, plug all of your devices in to a “smart” power strip, rather than a traditional power strip to save energy on idle currents from all of your peripheral devices.   The Smart Home USA Smart Strip contains a small electronic device that monitors the current on a single outlet, where your computer is plugged in.  When the computer is finished shutting down, the current draw from the computer drops to its idle current -- and the Smart Strip senses the current change, automatically shutting off all of the computer peripherals.  This device is available with fax and modem sensors.

 

  1. Lighting

Lighting draws a great deal of unnecessary electricity in a restaurant because it is on from morning until night, every single day of the year. In addition, most establishments also use higher wattages than necessary, and place bulbs in areas of overlapping coverage. Therefore, it is critical to examine current light levels and bulb placement to generate immediate savings.

 

There are rebates available through the New Jersey SmartStart Buildings Program and for PSE&G customers. For more information, visit:

 

http://www.njcleanenergy.com/misc/commercial-industrial/project-categories

http://www.pseg.com/business/small_large_business/save_energy/business_save.jsp

 

For lighting that is deemed essential, choosing the right technology can lead to further reductions in energy use. Conventional incandescent bulbs are being banned in the US. Look for environmentally sustainable alternatives, such as LEDs, CFLs or T8 Lamps. LEDs can help you cut your lighting bills by 83%, and there are many rebate programs.

 

Traditional lighting uses 3-4 times the energy of the latest energy-efficient fluorescent, LED, fiberoptic, and infrared halogen bulbs. Furthermore, 90% of that energy is given off as heat, increasing the load on the air conditioning system during the warmer summer months. Thanks to their long life, energy-efficient bulbs also save money by cutting replacement and labor costs. This is because fluorescent and LED bulbs last anywhere from 10-50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. A new LED bulb won’t need to be changed for 5 years! When you do go to change it, state rebates reduce replacement costs even more. All in all, a typical restaurant could save 75% or more on lighting energy costs by replacing traditional bulbs with the most efficient alternatives available.

 

Standard: Food service facilities with substantial natural light should consider daylighting sensors, which automatically turn the lights on when the room hits a specified level of darkness.

 

Rooms that are frequently unoccupied should be fitted with occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights once people leave (bathrooms are the classic example). Outdoor lights should be controlled by photocells that turn them on when it gets dark. LED Lighting is the most efficient chose for your lighting needs.

 

BMP: Turn off lights when not in the room.

Keep lighting fixtures and lamps clean and free of dust so they produce the maximum amount of light.

During slower periods, group customers so that lights can be turned off in unoccupied areas.

Delamping, or removing excess lighting, is the quickest way to reduce energy bills with almost no initial costs and an immediate payback.

 

Use skylights, windows, etc. to achieve 2% daylight factor in all rooms. The more natural light that enters the restaurant, the less you’ll have to rely on electricity.

 

Install and use dimmer switches.

 

  1. Water Heating

When selecting a water heater, it's important to consider size, fuel type, overall cost, and the first hour rating.  Beyond these issues you should focus on the water heater’s thermal efficiency to determine efficiency. The EF indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. It takes into account recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycling losses. 

 

Standard: The two most environmentally preferable types of water heaters that are commercially available are demand gas water heaters and electric heat pump water heaters. Demand (tankless or instantaneous) gas water heaters provide hot water as it is needed.  Since they do not have a storage area they do not experience standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold-water travels through a pipe into the unit, where a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. This type of water heater is a much more common in food service facilities, though they may require additional heat booster for your dish machine.

 

Electric heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another, so that they do not need to generate heat directly. They pull heat from the surrounding air and deposit it in a tank to heat water. Electric heat pump water heaters can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters.

 

When selecting a natural gas, propane, or oil water heater, choose one that has a thermal efficiency of at least 0.90. This is about 15% more efficient than the current federal standard.

 

To locate the most efficient boilers for your specific needs please see: http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/topwater.htm.

 

Standard: Another way to save energy is the purchase of a Heat Exchanger or Heat Recovery System, which captures heat from wastewater going down the drain and transfers it to incoming cold water headed for the water heater. Ideally placed downstream of the dish machine, which generates extremely hot water, a heat exchanger has the potential to save 30% or more in water heating costs.

    

BMP: When installing a new heating system, it is critical to tightly seal and insulate your ducts to avoid heat loss to unheated spaces like the attic or walls. Set water heater temperature only as high as your local Board of Health requires. Typically, hot water should be around 140 degrees for dishwashing and 110°F for hand washing.

 

Insulating all hot water boilers and pipes provides further energy savings.

 

Make sure pot sizes match element sizes and use lids to boost efficiency and shorten cook times.

 

When gas elements are set on high, flame tips should just touch the bottom of pots, pans and kettles.

 

Check gas burners periodically. If flames are yellow or uneven, clean (don’t drill) the burner with a wire brush and make sure holes are unobstructed and adjust the air shutter by loosening and retightening it with a screw.

 

Regularly inspect safety controls and automatic lighters.

 

Check thermostats for accuracy and recalibrate, if necessary.

 

Use open ranges rather than full hot plate ranges.

 

Turn fryers off – or cover and reduce them to idling temperatures during slow periods - cutting out four hours of idle time each day could save around $250 annually for a gas fryer and about $350 for an electric fryer.

 

Check and recalibrate thermostats, and turn them only as high as necessary to reach frying temperatures. Temperatures ranging from 325°F to 350°F are ideal in modern high-speed fryers. If temperatures are too high, oil will break down. Regularly check the temperature of cooking oil with a reliable commercial thermometer to ensure heating elements and thermostat controls work properly.

 

During slow periods, turn off as many griddle burners as possible, and turn down other sections.

 

Have your service contractor periodically check gas-griddle fuel mixtures and adjust pilot lights to their lowest possible flames.

           

Consider griddles that feature both grooved and flat cooking surfaces—especially if you do a lot of broiling since griddles tend to be more efficient than broilers, and grooved griddles can achieve broiler-like char marks on food.

 

Cut standby time and use the timer so that the steamer runs at full heat only when needed.

Flush boilers at least once each week, following manufacturers' instructions.

 

Remove all deposits – such as rust, lime, film and scale – from water jackets and the outsides of containers.

 

Repair all steam leaks, no matter how small.

 

Invest in connectionless technology. Connectionless steamers require less maintenance than boiler-based steamers and consume far less energy and water.

 

Pasta Cookers:

  • Cut idle time - If you can’t shut it off consider turning it down.

  • Turn the thermostat down to just below boiling when you won't be cooking for an hour. The water will return to a full boil in seconds once you're ready to start the next load.

  • Find the minimum settings required to maintain a boil—your food will cook just as fast.

 

If you’re in the market for a braising pan, look for one with insulated walls.

 

 

  1. Dish Machine

Please see water efficiency, below.

 

 

  1. Miscellaneous Appliances

There are no energy efficiency standards for small food preparation equipment and most are not wasteful in their use of electricity unless they are left in standby mode.

 

Standard: This can best be done with timers installed at the socket, since this cuts power to the entire machine

 

BMP: All equipment should be turned off when not in use. Insulated coffee, tea, and cocoa carafes are currently being used to minimize the energy needed to keep these liquids warm. This is critical since these appliances are kept on all day. After the last shift, all electronics should be powered down to save energy over night.

 

  1. Office Equipment

 

Standard: In selecting office equipment for your restaurant, it is important to look for Energy Star certification.

 

BMP: While security systems must be on all day, consider turning off the monitor at night to save energy even as the cameras continue to record. Point-of-sale equipment should be turned off at night to save energy.

 

Turn off televisions in empty rooms and areas of the restaurant.

 

Combining the DSL modem and wireless router into one box saves resources, space, and energy. Since no significant differences exist between brands, select a modem/WLAN router combo based on price or other performance characteristics.

 

Set computers to standby or sleep after a certain period of inactivity. In addition, shut down computers and other office equipment, like faxes and printers, at night.

 

Standard: Finally, plug all of your devices in to a “smart” power strip, rather than a traditional power strip to save energy on idle currents from all of your peripheral devices.   The Smart Home USA Smart Strip contains a small electronic device that monitors the current on a single outlet, where your computer is plugged in.  When the computer is finished shutting down, the current draw from the computer drops to its idle current -- and the Smart Strip senses the current change, automatically shutting off all of the computer peripherals.  This device is available with fax and modem sensors.

 

  1. Lighting

Lighting draws a great deal of unnecessary electricity in a restaurant because it is on from morning until night, every single day of the year. In addition, most establishments also use higher wattages than necessary, and place bulbs in areas of overlapping coverage. Therefore, it is critical to examine current light levels and bulb placement to generate immediate savings.

 

There are rebates available through the New Jersey SmartStart Buildings Program and for PSE&G customers. For more information, visit:

 

http://www.njcleanenergy.com/misc/commercial-industrial/project-categories

http://www.pseg.com/business/small_large_business/save_energy/business_save.jsp

 

For lighting that is deemed essential, choosing the right technology can lead to further reductions in energy use. Conventional incandescent bulbs are being banned in the US. Look for environmentally sustainable alternatives, such as LEDs, CFLs or T8 Lamps. LEDs can help you cut your lighting bills by 83%, and there are many rebate programs.

 

Traditional lighting uses 3-4 times the energy of the latest energy-efficient fluorescent, LED, fiberoptic, and infrared halogen bulbs. Furthermore, 90% of that energy is given off as heat, increasing the load on the air conditioning system during the warmer summer months. Thanks to their long life, energy-efficient bulbs also save money by cutting replacement and labor costs. This is because fluorescent and LED bulbs last anywhere from 10-50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. A new LED bulb won’t need to be changed for 5 years! When you do go to change it, state rebates reduce replacement costs even more. All in all, a typical restaurant could save 75% or more on lighting energy costs by replacing traditional bulbs with the most efficient alternatives available.

 

Standard: Food service facilities with substantial natural light should consider daylighting sensors, which automatically turn the lights on when the room hits a specified level of darkness.

 

Rooms that are frequently unoccupied should be fitted with occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights once people leave (bathrooms are the classic example). Outdoor lights should be controlled by photocells that turn them on when it gets dark. LED Lighting is the most efficient chose for your lighting needs.

 

BMP: Turn off lights when not in the room.

Keep lighting fixtures and lamps clean and free of dust so they produce the maximum amount of light.

During slower periods, group customers so that lights can be turned off in unoccupied areas.

Delamping, or removing excess lighting, is the quickest way to reduce energy bills with almost no initial costs and an immediate payback.

 

Use skylights, windows, etc. to achieve 2% daylight factor in all rooms. The more natural light that enters the restaurant, the less you’ll have to rely on electricity.

 

Install and use dimmer switches.

 

  1. Water Heating

When selecting a water heater, it's important to consider size, fuel type, overall cost, and the first hour rating.  Beyond these issues you should focus on the water heater’s thermal efficiency to determine efficiency. The EF indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. It takes into account recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycling losses. 

 

Standard: The two most environmentally preferable types of water heaters that are commercially available are demand gas water heaters and electric heat pump water heaters. Demand (tankless or instantaneous) gas water heaters provide hot water as it is needed.  Since they do not have a storage area they do not experience standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold-water travels through a pipe into the unit, where a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. This type of water heater is a much more common in food service facilities, though they may require additional heat booster for your dish machine.

 

Electric heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another, so that they do not need to generate heat directly. They pull heat from the surrounding air and deposit it in a tank to heat water. Electric heat pump water heaters can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters.

 

When selecting a natural gas, propane, or oil water heater, choose one that has a thermal efficiency of at least 0.90. This is about 15% more efficient than the current federal standard.

 

To locate the most efficient boilers for your specific needs please see: http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/topwater.htm.

 

Standard: Another way to save energy is the purchase of a Heat Exchanger or Heat Recovery System, which captures heat from wastewater going down the drain and transfers it to incoming cold water headed for the water heater. Ideally placed downstream of the dish machine, which generates extremely hot water, a heat exchanger has the potential to save 30% or more in water heating costs.

    

BMP: When installing a new heating system, it is critical to tightly seal and insulate your ducts to avoid heat loss to unheated spaces like the attic or walls. Set water heater temperature only as high as your local Board of Health requires. Typically, hot water should be around 140 degrees for dishwashing and 110°F for hand washing.

 

Insulating all hot water boilers and pipes provides further energy savings.

(617) 737-4422

© 2013 Green Restaurant Association

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