FEJ – Energy Efficiency Feature

Manufacturers have invested heavily in making their equipment more efficient in recent years. But many in the industry still believe that operators consider other factors – particularly price – over and above efficiency. Why do you think this is?

Price is always important and if the client’s only concern is price then their investment will not benefit the business – the old adage of buy cheap, buy twice, is true. In business it is not possible to get a lot and only spend a little. However, this focus on price alone is changing and increasingly lifetime cost and energy efficiency are being considered as operators look more towards striking a balance between capital investment and ongoing operational costs.

Of course, all operators want a ‘stress free’ kitchen where they can concentrate on getting good food on plates in front of paying customers. If we can demonstrate our ability to deliver a reliable product with good back-up service and maintenance then the purchasing decision comes down to a combination of budget, life expectancy, energy consumption, ease of use/cleaning, and return on investment. Depending on which sector the end user is operating in these considerations will be “weighted” accordingly. Initial capital cost is always a consideration but life time cost is moving higher and higher on the agenda.

Given that utility bills are only predicted to rise further, and bearing in mind that manufacturers clearly communicate the benefits of energy efficient models, it is surprising that more operators aren’t considering it a priority when purchasing equipment. What is it going to take for this to change?

I can’t see this changing until operators are taxed/penalised based on the amount of energy they use per site. I’m sure that at some point in the future the government will insist that operators are only allowed a certain level of power usage based on the number of guests they serve. If they go over this level they will be taxed and if they come in under they will be given tax breaks. For example, let’s say that there was a standard rate of 1KW of power per person then a site serving 300 guests would be given a 300KW power usage allowance.

Are you aware of any operators that have embraced energy efficient kitchens? Or any that truly regard energy efficiency as their number one priority when purchasing equipment?

No. Operators should not only be publishing financial results but also their power consumption results. This would certainly appeal to the public – I know I would rather be seen using a restaurant that had made a concerted effort to lower its energy consumption as opposed to one that had made none at all.