SERVING UP SAVINGS
Many facilities contain commercial food service equipment (CFSE) including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, community centers, public assembly facilities, schools and congregations. CFSE is a considerable source of both energy and water consumption in these facilities with buildings with food service operations often consuming 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Fortunately, through smart purchasing decisions, strategic upgrades and proper maintenance, significant energy and water cost savings can be achieved. This energy savings guide is particularly focused on fryers, hot food holding cabinets, steam cookers, dishwashers, ovens and griddles. A separate energy savings guide is available for commercial refrigeration equipment including refrigerators, freezers and ice makers.
Commercial Food Service Equipment FAQ
- What types of energy-efficient CFSE should I consider when purchasing new equipment?
- Where can I find more information to help me select the right energy-efficient CFSE for my facility?
- What simple upgrades or changes to maintenance procedures will help reduce the energy and water consumption of my CFSE?
- Are there any incentives or rebates available to reduce the costs of upgrades to my CFSE?
- Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified products to ensure electricity and water savings from your new equipment.
- Replace conventional gas fryers with infrared gas fryers or high-efficiency atmospheric gas fryers.
- Most of the energy used in dishwashers is associated with hot water use. Purchase an insulated dishwasher or infrared gas dishwasher to replace conventional dishwashers.
- New high-capacity, multistage dishwashing machines can reduce water consumption and provide additional savings in detergent and rinse additives use.
- Purchase insulated cooking equipment whenever possible to maintain more heat.
- Replacing older high-volume cooking sprayers with newer high-velocity, low-flow models can save hundreds of dollars per year in hot water costs.
- ENERGY STAR® maintains lists of qualified CFSE along with savings calculators that will ensure that your purchase helps your business save money by cutting energy and water demand. ENERGY STAR® qualified products can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% compared to their conventional counterparts.
- The Food Service Technology Center also provides a series of calculators for determining the life cycle costs of CFSE purchases including ovens, fryers, griddles, holding cabinets, steamers and underfired charbroilers.
- Turn equipment off when not in use. Implement a startup/shutdown plan to ensure that equipment is only being used when needed.
- Cook as efficiently as possible by adjusting flames on ranges to just touch the bottom of cookware, by cooking foods with the same requirements simultaneously and by minimizing unnecessary oven door openings.
- Make sure your kitchen staff uses automatic controls and timers on equipment such as steamers that prevent continuous operation when equipment is not in use.
- Add side panels to cooking appliances and push them back against the wall as far as possible to allow exhaust hoods to work more effectively. More effective exhaust hood operation will increase the comfort of the space and reduce cooling loads in the building.
- Replace any underhood incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
- If you have evaporative coolers, make sure the pads are clean and undamaged and that they are damp but not saturated for efficient operation.
- Seek out opportunities to reduce plug loads as they both waste electricity and contribute to higher cooling bills. Turn off holding cabinets, conveyor toasters, steam tables, coffee pot warmers, plate and food warmers and heat lamps when not in use. Determine if any equipment can be turned off during lulls in your service schedule like the break between lunch and dinner rush.
Incentives and rebates may be available to help offset the costs of upgrades to your CFSE. Use the Energy Action Planner to look for opportunities in your area.