How to save energy on your cooking equipment

Selecting the right cooking equipment is crucial to any restaurant or other catering business as acquiring the best solution saves a lot of energy and reduces running costs, which ultimately increases profits.

But which are the most energy efficient equipment on the market and how difficult is it to compare different types of equipment to test their energy consumption?

Firstly, businesses should check their current energy consumption – if they do not already know. Although, even by having this knowledge, they probably do not know how their overall energy consumption is actually split and how much each piece of equipment uses. That is the tricky part. If they do not monitor and measure the specific energy consumption of each piece of equipment, how can they possibly manage it?

However, times are changing, as electrical distribution system manufacturers now offer secondary sub meters that can be installed to measure and control the consumption of individual circuits, as well as facilitate alarms to detect fault situations or when they are unnecessarily left on. Switching equipment off when it is not needed could probably save the greatest amount of energy throughout a business.

Some equipment, like induction cooking ranges, only demand power and energy when pots and pans are actually placed on the range. They immediately switch the power off when cookware is removed from the cooking surface.

In addition, combination ovens are also extremely energy efficient when compared with traditional open flued gas ovens. With the aid of smart technology, they can use computer controlled self-cooking systems to manage the cooking process, thus minimising energy consumption.

On the other hand, Salamander grills are commonly left on which leads to unnecessary energy consumption, but fast-action rise and fall grills that incorporate timers and plate detection sensors, which switch them on and off when food is placed under them, can also save energy.

There are exciting times ahead as renewable electrical energy supply increases, as does the demand for more electrical power, safer electrical distribution systems and energy efficient equipment. There are great energy management companies out there now too, that can help businesses to install meters and power tags to take control of their energy consumption and improve their cooking equipment’s energy efficiency.

Overall, the best way to improve energy efficiency is to monitor what equipment is being used and for how long, then, with this knowledge, take control of its energy consumption. Monitoring and measuring data to establish high and often wasteful energy consumption must be managed and rectified, or it will just continue sucking out profit and draining business confidence.

Knowing where energy is being wasted is the key. Just like putting a lid on a pan to reduce boiling times or turning off equipment that it is used like a constantly running tap, simple management of power combined with the right energy saving equipment will yield the greatest results.

By David Pedrette, managing director of Target Catering Equipment, a family-run business which has provided has  quality, bespoke catering equipment to the foodservice industry for over 30 years

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