Trying economic times have forced many restaurants to operate more efficiently and economically to sustain profits. While reduced energy consumption and marginally lower electric bills can be realized through simple solutions like installing energy efficient light bulbs, the greatest cost reductions lie with the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system — a restaurant's highest controllable expense. Unfortunately, few restaurant operators focus on climate control energy efficiency as a means of cost savings, fearing expensive service visits and costly technology solutions with disappointing results.
Significant advancements in the field of commercil energy efficiency systems have finally made them far more affordable for operators of small- to mid-sized facilities previously underserved in the marketplace. And they do so while delivering proven, highly quantifiable results. For those seeking to reduce operating costs and employ green business practices, an energy efficiency system is one significant way to reduce carbon emissions and boost the bottom line with funds otherwise paid to the utility company each month.
Here are five key reasons your restaurant needs an energy efficiency system:
Monetary Savings. Today's energy efficiency systems can lower a restaurant's energy costs by 10-20 percent and provide a return on investment in just six to twelve months. Energy efficiency systems have various price-points and functionality but, for small to mid-sized buildings, advanced systems can cost less than $2,000 and can often be financed. Depending on a restaurant's monthly energy bills, even just a 10% savings can provide a rapid return. Savings from a lower utility bill drop straight to a restaurant's bottom line. Moreover, many local utility companies offer rebates.
Lower Environmental Impact. The lower energy bill restaurants realize after installing an energy efficiency system is directly correlated to reduced energy consumption. Reduced energy usage means fewer carbon emissions and a smaller environmental footprint from operations.
Equipment Longevity and Efficiency. Energy efficiency systems can quickly identify anomalies in consumption that may be attributable to malfunctioning HVAC equipment. Rapid response to equipment breakdowns not only increases the longevity of the malfunctioning equipment, but also that of other installed HVAC units that are forced to work harder to pick up the slack.
Round-the-Clock Monitoring and Control. Many energy efficiency systems provide a variety settings and control capabilities that cannot be overridden by on-site employees. Best of all, it can be managed remotely by authorized personnel through the Web. Some manufacturers also offer outsourced services that monitor and control a restaurant's energy usage in each facility around the clock.
Marketing and Public Relations Benefits. Consumers appreciate businesses that are environmentally responsible. The installation of an energy efficiency system can be communicated to customers as an example of your green business practices that go far beyond typical light bulb and recycling initiatives. Use of such technology can also bring positive local press attention and drive a positive brand image.
Gus Ezcurra is CEO of Advanced Telemetry, developer of the industry-leading EcoView(TM) smart energy and resource efficiency system for business.