Cutting Energy Costs and Saving Big in the Foodservice Business

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by Metro CERT
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Food Service Energy Efficiency Summit Wednesday, March 21, 2011, Minneapolis, MN – Food service businesses—mostly restaurants and grocery stores—use 2.5 times more energy than the average commercial business. Think about it: all the stoves, ovens, heat lamps, dish washers, refrigerators, and fryers turning out meal after meal. It makes sense that they are energy intensive. However, kitchens are also hectic places where simple energy wasters often get ignored in the hustle and bustle. Keep reading to learn more about a recent event highlighting resources for food service businesses that want to start saving energy—and money.

Richard Young, from the Food Service Technology Center in California, highlighted a long list of simple changes that food service businesses can make that can shave big bucks off their energy bills at his presentation at Dunwoody College on Monday March 21st. From stopping leaking faucets and closing ice maker lids all the way to replacing exhaust hoods and updating their lighting, businesses have a huge variety of opportunities—from small to large, free to expensive.

Richard Young presents at the Food Service Energy Efficiency Summit The Twin Cities food service community is no exception to the rule, either. With Minnesota’s cold winters and warm summers, our energy costs are higher than the national average—and so, then, is our opportunity to save. Many restaurants in the Twin Cities were highlighted for leading the way: The Red Stag Supper Club, a LEED-certified restaurant in Minneapolis, has installed many LED lights; Common Roots Café has a variable speed exhaust fan; and the Eastside Food Co-op has installed night shades on their open coolers. Restaurant owners and managers are realizing that cutting energy costs directly improves their bottom line (and with slim profit margins that’s a welcome thing).

But busy owners aren’t on their own to figure out energy efficiency. Many great programs exist in the cities to help. A good place to start is the City of Minneapolis’ Foodservice Website, which links to CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy resources as well as the city’s zero-percent interest loans for energy improvements in businesses.

The crowd at the Food Service Energy Efficiency Summit In addition, small locally-owned foodservice businesses in White Bear Lake and Minneapolis can get support from the Food Service Energy Leadership Program housed at Eureka Recycling. They provide a site assessment, specific recommendations, and on-going support to help your business follow through on its energy plans. Eureka’s energy team wants to thank the City of Minneapolis for providing Climate Change Grant funding to support this workshop, and Xcel Energy, Centerpoint Energy and Dunwoody College for their support of this event as well.

More from the event:

Relates to the following technologies

May be of interest to the following communities

Minnesotans building a clean energy future

         

    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission