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Eco-friendly food service

Between patio season, delivery apps and regular service, it’s a busy time for restaurants. Since food service is such an energy-intensive industry, using efficient equipment is a good way to boost your bottom line and lower your carbon footprint.

With the need for advanced cooking appliances, specialized cooling equipment and extensive lighting, it should come as no surprise that commercial kitchens are energy intensive. In fact, food service operations use up to seven times more energy per square metre than other commercial spaces. Thankfully, ENERGY STAR® is here to help by offering a variety of commercial appliances designed to save energy, lower your carbon footprint and boost your bottom line. Here are some ways to focus your energy-saving efforts:

Food preparation

Chefs travaillant dans un restaurant

In the average Canadian commercial or institutional kitchen, food preparation equipment accounts for 35% of the overall energy used. Investing in ENERGY STAR certified cooking and warming equipment helps restaurants cut energy costs and lower their carbon footprint. ENERGY STAR certifies a variety of commercial equipment that can lead to considerable savings as compared to standard models, including:

Pro Tip: These days, griddles, fryers and other cooking equipment heat up very quickly. To save more energy, avoid the urge to fire up all your equipment at the start of the day. Instead, look at your menu, then plan a schedule to turn on each piece of equipment only as needed. Then shut it down when you’re finished the task. This way, you won’t unnecessarily run your cooking equipment and exhaust hood.

Cooling and refrigeration equipment

Refrigeration accounts for about 6% of the energy used in the average Canadian commercial or institutional kitchen. While that may seem like a relatively small amount, small changes add up when it comes to saving energy. Investing in ENERGY STAR certified commercial cooling and refrigeration equipment can make saving energy simple, without compromising performance in any way. Certified commercial products include:

Pro Tip: Remember to clean your refrigerator condenser coils, found on the back or across the bottom of the unit. Condenser coils function as a heat exchanger that transfers heat out of the refrigerator and into the air. Kitchen environments are known to be tough on equipment, as a lot of heat and greasy vapour can be generated. This settles and sticks to the coils of cooling equipment, attracting dust and reducing cooling efficiency. This simple step of cleaning your refrigerator condenser coils is one of the easiest ways to save energy on utility bills and the wear and tear on your fridge. All you have to do is get a cleaning brush and clean them every month or two.

Warewashing equipment

Dirty dishes can stack up quickly, especially in a fast-paced commercial or industrial kitchen. This means that your dishwasher is one of the most crucial appliances in your kitchen. You can get the job done more efficiently by investing in an ENERGY STAR certified commercial dishwasher. Certified models use 40% less energy and 40% less water compared to standard dishwashers, saving you energy and water costs.  In fact, depending on the product type, certified models can save businesses an average of $3,000 per year.

Pro Tip: Maintaining your dishwasher and checking water supply pressure against factory specifications regularly is important to maintain its efficiency. Weak water pressure can make it more difficult to get dishes perfectly clean and you might even need to rewash them, leading to excess water and energy consumption. Keep an eye open for overspray, too. Any time you see water, vapour, or steam exiting the machine, that’s money flying out in the form of water and energy, as well as extra load on your ventilation.


Un barista utilise une tablette

Planning to purchase a new tablet to keep track of stock, manage delivery app orders or to process payments? Choosing an ENERGY STAR certified tablet helps make your restaurant or kitchen even greener through special power management features and more efficient user options, like sleep, long idle or short idle. That way you can get back to business and enjoy the energy savings.


Lighting is an important part for setting the ambiance in a restaurant and it accounts for 13% of the energy used. ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs offer 90% more energy savings than standard bulbs and come in all shapes, sizes and colours to help set the mood in any space. This is a simple switch that can lead to significant savings, especially since they last up to 15 times longer than traditional incandescent blubs, and they don’t have to be replaced as often!

Learn more and connect with us

Looking for more tips on energy efficiency? Follow ENERGY STAR Canada on TwitterFacebookPinterest and LinkedIn to maximize your energy savings and get the latest on energy-efficient products.

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