restaurant electricity bills

12 Ways to Save Money on Restaurant Electricity Bills

Restaurant owners have the power to prevent their restaurant electricity bills from soaring any further. If you’re starting out, bills of course are going to be high: government data has shown that general costs have risen by 26 per cent. Anytime is a good time to find ways to cut down on restaurant costs — especially on electricity bills.

Help avoid fears of closure due to overpriced bills. From switching light bulbs to checking for hidden energy-hungry appliances in the kitchen, here are our 12 ways to cut restaurant electricity costs for restaurants hoping to save some money.

Protecting your hospitality business from huge costs is difficult. Contact us to find out how we can help.

How Much Electricity Does an Average Restaurant Use?

Estimates vary — especially since over the past few years the hospitality industry has witnessed steep rises in energy costs. On average, restaurant electricity bills stretch into the tens of thousands. A restaurant can expect to spend £20,000—£60,000 every year on electricity bills. 

However, in the past few quarters, electricity bills have doubled. One restaurant owner reviewing costs has reported that their bills have doubled to an eye-watering £120,000 per annum.

How Restaurants Can Save on Energy Bills

Though much of restaurant electricity costs depend on the decisions of energy providers, economic forecasts, and price caps set by the national government, there is still plenty restaurants can do to help keep their electricity budgets under wraps. Here are our top tips.

1. Buy the Right Fridge

The first item on our list is important to get right. Since it is an appliance that is on all the time, the most energy-efficient fridge will cut down your restaurant electricity costs. 

Our ultimate guide on starting a restaurant goes into the essentials on white goods — but energy ratings are the go-to method for picking the right appliance. For instance, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that picking a D-rated model over an F-rated one can save £600 a year in bills.

2. Take Action on Appliances

All appliances play a pivotal role in a restaurant’s annual bills. To prevent them from eating excess energy, assess their consumption rates — including frequency of use.

Electricity is precious. In the UK a consumer interest group that includes the hospitality industry found that households alone were spending an extra £500—700 on inefficient appliances

Only purchase new appliances when old ones have reached the end of their lifespan, and make sure to prioritise most frequently used appliances over others to watch those savings grow.

“Cafe” by Nenad Stojkovic via Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

3. Defrost Freezers

When looked after properly, freezers provide huge benefits for restaurants, allowing them to conveniently store all the essentials without making frequent, more costly orders. However, left dormant, they can easily cause hikes in electricity bills. Follow industry guidance on defrosting chunks of built-up ice and keep it below a quarter inch.

Running a restaurant that closes during off-peak seasons? Look into freezers with holiday mode features.

4. Descale Hot Drinks Equipment

Did you know your hot drinks equipment is probably costing you more than you think? Kettles and coffee machines are intensive energy eaters — and their proper maintenance is essential. Descaling your equipment will not only prevent breakdowns, but save you money too. Use correct industrial methods with multi-purpose descalers to maintain low-energy usage.

5. Use Smart Functions When Boiling

Some appliances have a built-in thermometer to indicate how hot the water is, meaning staff don’t have to re-boil at all.

6. Use Minimum Fills

There are a variety of eco-conscious restaurant appliances out there, allowing users to fill the correct amount. It could save you at least £100 a year.

7. Opt For The Best Ovens

Like fridges, this one is important to get right. Ovens are energy-intensive appliances. However the good news is that today’s best oven appliances are designed to save money.

If possible, purchase self-cleaning ovens, simply because they are well-insulated machines. Make sure they have fans to cook at lower temperatures. If in a pinch, forget the self-cleaning features: they consume more electricity. Instead, follow the Cookery School’s guidelines and use eco-friendly products to clean ovens.

8. Integrate Induction Hobs

All restaurants should have them. With gas prices at an all-time high and rising, an alternative to gas hobs is an option to strongly consider.

Induction hobs help keep restaurant electricity bills low, especially in the long term. One consumer body estimated that induction hobs are more energy efficient, using about 90 per cent of energy for cooking use as opposed to gas cookers, which use an average 60 per cent for cooking.

9. Switch Off To Save More

At the end of the workday, it’s the last thing on staff minds: appliances on standby mode. How can restaurants save money switching off appliances not in use? The answer astounds us all. 

Consider, say, a microwave. When on standby, with its digital display and lightbulb, a standard microwave costs £16.37 a year. Such a simple trick can save a little extra annually — so before you go, check all the plugs are off.

how to cut restaurant electricity costs
“Green Energy” by Uswitch.com images via Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

10. Lighten Up on Lightbulbs

Can restaurants cut costs on things like lighting? Surprisingly, yes. All restaurant owners have to do is change the lightbulb. 

Yes, really. The consumptive differences between LED, halogen, and incandescent bulbs is immense. An LED bulb, for instance, used for ten hours a day costs approximately £10.22; an incandescent, on the other hand, costs £61. Follow the advice of consumer group Uswitch: if you haven’t already switched to LED lighting, do so now.

11. Adjust Your Television

Perhaps you have a television in your restaurant’s lobby or bar. If this is on all the time, then it is an appliance with a considerable cost attached. Adjust size and turn down the brightness to keep costs low — and as already noted, avoid standby settings. You could save around £61.80 a year (based on G-rated television at around 3,000 hours of use).

12. Ditch Costly Software

If you’re a restaurant currently using reservation or waitlist software, you’re likely paying a hefty sum on annual bills. In today’s money-tight hospitality environment, this is simply unfair.

A far superior model exists: don’t pay at all. Cut down further on your annual restaurant electricity bill with Carbonara App, an efficient waitlist, reservation, and online booking system all in one. All you need is a smartphone to use it. 

Save money with Carbonara App! Learn more about the restaurants that have successfully integrated the app into their everyday business.