From installation and equipment to general running costs, we understand why many businesses look for cheaper options, or quick fixes, for commercial kitchens. But by investing in the right equipment you’ll actually save money, help the environment and reduce risks of kitchen downtime.

Choosing and maintaining energy efficient appliances will help your kitchen function effectively as they’re not wasting energy through poor performance. Meaning you’ll cut costs on bills and avoid expensive repairs.

Energy saving in commercial kitchens: Where to start

It’s your responsibility and legal obligation to ensure your business is in-line and up-to-date with the relevant gas laws and regulations. From installation and maintenance to ventilation and risk assessments, we’ll cover the key areas you need to know.

If you already have a commercial kitchen

Before you make any changes you need to understand the status of your current appliances. Start by installing energy metres and track the output of your kitchen’s equipment over a period of time. You can do this individually or as sectioned areas, i.e., preparing stations, refrigeration, cooking areas etc. Once you’ve gathered your data, you can spot the areas of high energy consumption which will determine your next steps based on priority and/or budget.

commercial kitchen energy consumption

If you’re planning your commercial kitchen

Commercial kitchens can use up to two and a half times the amount of energy than any other space in your building, so it’s important to consider where you can save energy early on in the design and planning stages. Midland’s Catering’s experienced commercial kitchen designers can identify the most beneficial layout and equipment for your kitchen. In the meantime, these are the areas we recommend you considering:

Induction vs gas hobs

Although gas is the traditional choice for many chefs because they can control the heat, they’re no longer the most energy efficient. Induction hobs are a great alternative as their innovative design means:

  • No exposed flames keeps your kitchen cooler
  • Reduced fumes equals reduced ventilation
  • Energy is only used when a pan is in contact with the hob
  • You have more precise temperature control
  • Auto shut-off reduces wasted energy and is safer
  • They’re easier to clean

If your budget is an issue, figure out the cost of an induction hob vs the savings you’ll gain on energy bills. You might realise how quickly you can earn that money back.

commercial kitchen induction hobs for energy efficiency
head chef looking inside commercial refrigerator unit

Refrigeration legislation

Commercial kitchen refrigeration is the most important part of a commercial kitchen; it needs to be reliable and fully functioning to safely store food supplies. It’s also in use 24/7 – meaning the more energy it can save, the better.

When it comes to finding the most energy efficient refrigerator you need to ensure you choose a size and style that matches your kitchen’s capacity – you don’t want to overload it, resulting in it overworking and wasting energy. Its location is a factor too, if placed next to hot appliances such as ovens, it can use up to 30% more in energy consumption to keep cool. You also need to know your refrigerator’s energy efficiency which must be tested and labelled in-line with MEPS.

Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS)

MEPS rating is the set standard for refrigerator products produced in the UK and EU. All refrigerator appliances must be tested and labelled to identify its energy efficiency and meet the minimum energy performance standard.

The MEPS rating ranges from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This can vary depending on the size and style of refrigerator but you can’t assume an A-rating will be the perfect match for your kitchen. If you’re unsure, Midland’s Catering Equipment can help you choose which option would be most suitable for your needs.

energy efficient combi oven in a commercial kitchen

Combi ovens

In the right commercial kitchen, combi ovens can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% and are becoming a versatile choice for many chefs. With a mixture of convection, steam and combination cooking, it provides extra cooking capacity and reduces cooking times. Some models will even clean themselves. Although they may seem costly to install, if you compare your current oven’s energy consumption against a combi oven, you can calculate how quickly you’ll save what you invested.

Other energy saving considerations

There are a lot of big and small changes you can implement to be more energy efficient. Our blog about the benefits of making your kitchen more sustainable can provide more information, but when it comes to kitchen appliances, we recommend thinking about:

  • How long will it be in use?
  • The size of the appliance and if it’s suitable for your available space
  • Is your kitchen designed for gas or electric?
  • Does your building have enough outlets to support electric appliances?
  • How many appliances need mains connection?
  • Do you need drainage or water softening?
  • Do you need ventilation or extraction?
  • Will you need a site survey or qualified engineers for installation?
commercial kitchen equipment energy saving

Save energy with proper maintenance

Choosing the right equipment is the first step towards a more economical kitchen but that’s just the start. Correct cleaning and maintenance will keep your equipment functioning effectively and extend its lifespan. You’ll also be able to monitor its performance, spotting early concerns. When equipment is performing efficiently, they’ll reduce energy consumption and prevent potential repairs, kitchen downtime or emergency call outs. Our commercial kitchen maintenance plans can support you with these checks.

Be in the know about your gas regulations

These regulations are put in place to protect you, your staff and your business, but we understand it can seem a bit daunting. Our years of experience and expert engineers can take a weight off your mind to help you ensure that these regulations are met from design and installation, all the way through to maintenance and repairs, get in touch.