This is a portion of a post on MultiBriefs Exclusive.
Are energy hogs robbing you blind? There’s only one way to hunt the scavengers down — conduct an audit of your facilities. Many utilities may be willing to do that for you. However, if you prefer to do the hunting yourself, following are a few areas to review, according to the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Food preparation: Accounts for 35 percent of energy usage.
- Start-up/shut-down schedule: Do you have a schedule for kitchen equipment or is it on all the time? This is an easy one — if it’s not needed, shut it down.
- Range tops: Are they clean and in good repair? Are pilot lights operating correctly?
- ovens and steamers: Are doors properly aligned and gaskets in good repair so heat and steam are not escaping?
HVAC: Accounts for 28 percent of energy usage.
- Thermostats: Are they programmed to provide comfortable ambient temperatures for guests and employees? The EPA suggests air conditioning settings of 76 degrees F for occupied cooling and 85 degrees F for unoccupied areas. For heating, the recommendation is 68 degrees F and 55 degrees F, respectively. Where feasible, turn thermostats off when your business is closed.
- Ventilation: When appliances are off, are the exhaust and make-up systems also off? Are your appliances placed completely under exhaust hoods? Are your exhaust hood grease filters clean and in good repair? If not, the cost could be far more than energy — it is a fire hazard.
- Outside: Are patio space heaters and misters turned off when the area is unoccupied? Are rooftop exhaust fans clean? Are any belts loose or broken?