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Catering and food preparation

Control your consumption in a power-hungry sector

Energy efficiency in catering and food preparation

In the catering industry, energy typically accounts for 4-6% of operating costs. And in a sector with high overheads and narrow margins, any energy savings made can have a big impact on your bottom line. Some kitchens waste up to 60% of their energy, but without a smart meter, you won’t know where to direct your attention. So here’s some tips on improving energy efficiency in catering and preparation to help you achieve some potentially large efficiency savings.

Cooking equipment

  • Keep it simple – easy ways to save energy and money include turning off equipment straight after use and using lids to retain heat
  • Energy efficient equipment like induction hobs can be 15-50% more efficient than conventional appliances
  • Automatic switches that turn gas and electric hobs down or off when not in use typically save 5% of your kitchen’s cooking energy

Refrigeration equipment

  • Place your refrigeration equipment in the coolest part of your kitchen away from cookers and ovens to ensure it runs efficiently
  • Defrost your fridges and freezers regularly and avoid overfilling your appliances as they’ll have to work harder to maintain a low temperature
  • Minimise heat loss by installing self-closing devices on the doors of fridges, freezers and cool rooms

Heating and hot water

  • Don’t use ovens or hobs to warm the kitchen at the start of a shift – if your heating isn’t up to the job, fix it
  • Don’t heat your hot water excessively – the optimum temperature for stored hot water is 60°C or just above
  • Thermostatic radiator valves control the heat output of individual radiators automatically, lowering their heat output as the kitchen heats up during the shift

Information sourced from the Carbon Trust – an independent body which helps organisations contribute to and benefit from a more sustainable future through carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies and commercialising low carbon technologies.