Top 10 Energy Saving Tips For Restaurants

Energy Saving Tips

The United Illuminating Company (UI), established in 1899, is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to approximately 328,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. Total Food Service sat down with Mark Grindell, Marketing Communications Specialist, Product & Marketing, at United Illuminating to get their Top 10 Energy Saving Tips For Restaurants.

1. Get an evaluation by a certified energy professional (including HVAC, envelope, etc.) and make proposed improvements

The best way to see how you can save energy is to find out how you are currently using energy. If you are an Eversource or United Illuminating customer you can have a comprehensive energy evaluation performed at no cost.

2. Choose LED lighting

LED technology has transformed the market. You can now select energy efficient lighting in a variety of temperature colors and retain the ambiance of your restaurant. This lighting lasts more than twice as long as what is being replaced and uses less than half of the energy.   

3. Upgrade your controls with ECMs

Many restaurants use as much as 40% of their energy when they are closed. This indicates that there are great opportunities for HVAC and refrigeration controls for walk-in freezers and coolers. Refrigeration savings can be enhanced by the replacement of standard pole motors with ECMs (electronically commutated motors), which reduce energy consumption by 35%.

4. Thermostat / Temperature control of the spaces

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Did you ever eat at a restaurant in the middle of August and wish you brought your coat because it was so cold? The owner is paying more than he or she has to for their customers to be uncomfortable! Be aware of the temperature settings. Install programmable thermostats.

5. Demand controlled ventilation

Equip your HVAC system with demand controlled ventilation (DCV) to automatically adjust the volume exchange of fresh air depending on the occupancy of your dining area and save energy during the times your restaurant is less busy.

6. Choose ENERGY STAR® equipment

Before purchasing kitchen equipment, go to EnergizeCT.com (for Connecticut) or EnergyStar.gov (for other states) to see the rebates that are available for high efficiency “Energy Star” rated equipment.

7. Reduce your hot water consumption

By using energy savings equipment, installing low flow spray nozzles and low flow faucets, and training your employees to best practices, this will also help you to reduce your overall water consumption.

8. Perform regular maintenance

Make sure you are following the scheduled maintenance of your kitchen equipment, coolers, freezers and building HVAC. For example, you can save energy by cleaning and tuning your heating equipment every year. Regularly cleaning and de-icing the refrigeration units’ coils will also save a good amount of energy.

9. Reduce the energy going through your exhaust hoods

By installing smart exhaust hood controls, these systems will ensure your hoods work properly but will not pull more air than necessary out of your kitchen. They automatically adjust as heat and emissions increase, but will increase the comfort in the kitchen and cut energy costs.

10. Avoid losing energy through your main traffic point(s)

Minimize the exchange to the outside air at your main entrance point(s) by installing a double door entry way or an air curtain.


Mark Grindell is the Marketing Communications Specialist, Product & Marketing at Orange, CT  based United Illuminating. The firm’s web site offers additional solutions: uinet.com. He would happy to answer your questions by phone at 203.499.2913 or via email at mark.grindell@uinet.com