Energy Costs Shouldn’t Leave You Out in the Cold

Danielle Koonce, Marketing Director, NYS Restaurant Association

You didn’t have to live in New York to have heard about the record-breaking snow that Buffalo received in November. Just seeing all of those photos and videos of snow blocking doorways and swallowing up cars was enough to make anyone want to raise their thermostat just a little bit. Then you realized the financial effect raising the thermostat has on your monthly bill and quickly recoiled in fear.

In the summer, the air conditioning is whirring and the use of fans or ice cold drinks can take some of the sting out of monthly costs. In the winter, no hot coffee or liqueur is going to warm up your customers like a cozy, well-heated restaurant – and that can cost you.

There are ways to lower your heating and electrical costs to make sure your customers and your bottom line are warm this winter. One solution would be to review your bill and get an audit from an energy conservation company to make sure that you are receiving the best rate.

The NYS Restaurant Association partnered with EnergyNext to help restaurant members get the best rates for their heat and electric bills. Companies like EnergyNext will review your bill, reach out to their partners and find the best pricing they can. That means less work for you and more money in your pocket.

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It is also recommended during this time of year that if you find a good rate you should lock in at that time. With how the season is going rates have a tendency to spike due to the amount of energy needed for these cold months.

Be sure to check with your local energy providers to see if they offer energy conservation audits for your restaurant. Grant programs and non-profits are also a great resource to learn how you can lower your energy costs (and even help the environment – bonus!). For example, the Green Hospitality Initiative, through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, promotes energy conservation education specifically to restaurants.

With the holidays upon us everyone wants to feel that warm, cozy feeling – but there is no reason to pay top dollar for it.
Here are a few websites to visit to help you with your energy costs:


Green Hospitality Initiative:

NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA):

Con Edison: