5 Ways to Reduce Restaurant Energy Usage (And Cost!)

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By Megan McIntyre, Marketing Manager

Reducing energy use not only benefits the environment by saving natural resources and cutting pollution, it also saves you money and increases your bottom line.


  1. Institute a policy that all electronic devices, lighting and room cooling units be turned off when not in use and hang up light switch reminders to remind staff to turn off the same. Save energy and money by reminding staff and guests to be conscientious. This behavior can be reinforced with friendly reminders and appropriately placed signs like the one below. Signs like this one and others can be ordered through www.recyclereminders.com. Depending on quantity and materials these signs can range from approximately $1-$10. The sign above is made of bio-degradable materials and costs $8.95 each if ordered individually or $5.95 each if you order 40 or more.
  2. Use task lighting instead of lighting entire area. Using task lighting over counters and cooking equipment instead of ceiling fixtures will keep kitchen staff from having to leave the ceiling fixtures on constantly during operating hours thereby saving energy and money.
  3. Apply window film to reduce heat loss (or gain). Business and homes that have applied insulating film to their windows report a 35-50% combined energy savings per year.
  4. Use weather stripping to seal air gaps around doors and windows. Sealing erroneous air gaps around windows and doors will increase your thermal retention allowing your HV/AC units to cycle less frequently.
  5. Reduce dishwasher hot water temperature to lowest temperature allowed by health regulations and consistent with the type of sanitizing system you are using (high heat or chemical/heat). Reducing the temperature setting on your hot water heaters will not only allow their heating elements to cycle less often but it will also elongate the lives of those heating elements, which saves you money in both the current period and in the long term.

For more low or no cost solutions that you can implement in your restaurant immediately, check out Restaurant Tips: Staying in the Black While Going Green.

Megan McIntyre

Megan McIntyre

Megan has been with Ctuit since May 2011. She has a broad range of expertise in the hospitality industry with over 15 years of experience involving customer service, COGS, client relations, event coordination, marketing and promotions. Megan holds her MBA in Sustainable Business Enterprises from Dominican University of California.