While many businesses use gas for central heating and water heating, restaurants have the added expense of using gas for cooking. In fact, this is the primary use of gas in many restaurants.
In general across industries, small businesses use an average of 15,000 to 30,000 kWh of gas a year, while medium businesses use an average of 30,000 to 65,000 kWh. However, gas usage in restaurants is likely to be significantly higher than this in many cases.
Being able to estimate your business’s utility costs accurately is an essential part of financial planning. Based on the energy usage figures detailed above, small businesses typically pay around £2,367 – £3,660 per year on electricity, while medium-sized businesses shell out £3,774 – £7,234 on average. When it comes to business gas, small businesses typically pay £820 – £1,458 a year, while medium businesses have bills of £1,458 – £2,239 on average.
When you’re looking at your business energy bills, the two key things to pay attention to are the unit cost you are charged by your provider (which is the cost per kWh of energy you use) and the standing charge, which is a daily amount that covers the cost of transporting energy to your business premises and maintaining the national grid. To estimate your utility costs, you’ll need to know what these charges are, and roughly how much energy your restaurant uses. Often, it’s not until companies have had their first bill that they know much energy they consume and therefore how much their bills are likely to be in the future.
According to the Carbon Trust, even moderate improvements to efficiency in restaurants can bring energy savings of around 20 per cent. Here are just some of the ways that you can bring your business electricity usage and bills down:
- Use the appropriate equipment for the job – for example, make sure you use pans of a suitable size for the heating ring, and use lids and covers to retain steam and heat.
- Only switch equipment on as needed, and turn grills, hobs and fryers off immediately after use.
- Keep hot storage of food to a minimum.
- Keep your cooking equipment well-maintained so it operates efficiently.
- Use smart technology – for example, smart thermostats will help you to keep better control of your heating, while automatic pan sensors will switch off hobs after pan removal.
- Consider replacing gas or standard electric hobs with induction models – these appliances ensure nearly all heat is transferred into the food, making them highly efficient.
- Compare the energy consumption and power ratings of appliances before purchasing.
- Place your refrigerator in the coolest part of your kitchen.
- Keep freezer and chiller door openings to a minimum.
- Switch to more energy efficient lighting – this could include LEDs and fluorescent tubes.
Making your restaurant more energy efficient could not only bring your bills down and cut your carbon footprint – it could also help to make your business run more smoothly and mean that your kitchen is a cooler, more pleasant environment for workers. If your looking to compare business electricity prices, please click here.