Restaurants Waste Energy Differently Than Other Businesses, Says E Source

A new E Source report reveals that US businesses waste more than $60 billion annually on energy, but each industry has unique ways to save or waste energy.In contrast with typical commercial buildings, where lighting and HVAC account for the majority of energy consumption, almost two-thirds of the energy used in restaurants is allocated to kitchen activities.

Beth Hartman, senior research associate at E Source, and author of the report, said that restaurants are among the worst energy efficiency offenders, and that’s backed up by Pacific Gas and Electric, which says nearly 80 percent of the $10 billion spent annually by the commercial food service sector is lost to inefficient cooking methods.

Though these losses could be partially reduced by simple measures such as turning off equipment when not in use and performing periodic maintenance or repairs, more-substantial savings can be achieved by replacing conventional equipment with high-efficiency equipment. Additional statistics include:

  • Well-designed exhaust hoods can cut energy use by 33 percent compared with standard equipment.
  • An ice machine that is just 19 percent more efficient than a standard model could save up to $710 annually.
  • Replacing an old dishwasher could save $1,225 per year.
  • Potential energy savings per restaurant for installing an energy management system are between $2,200 and $3,600 annually.

Taco Bell installed new ’grill-to-order’ cooking machines to reduce energy consumption, which saves as much as $5,900 a year in energy costs per store.

The E-Source report includes energy-use data from a variety of other industries as well, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, data centers, education, and government. The research found that Google’s data centers use more energy than 200,000 houses and also points out that more electricity is wasted by computers needlessly left on than is consumed by all data centers in the United States.

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