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Keeping your commercial kitchen energy bills down

One of the costs to every publican is rising business energy rates, in an industry where there is likely to be large premises to be kept warm and light, and kitchens to keep functioning. But before we move into the kitchen, let’s take a moment to consider just how important pubs can be in our collective lives.  CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – recently conducted a ‘Pubs in Our Lives’ survey and uncovered some intriguing findings.  See, for instance, how many of the following you yourself have done in a pub:  celebrate a birthday, wet a baby’s head, had a date... even met your current partner? Well I can tick several of those, and if you can too, you are not alone.   75% of those questioned have celebrated a birthday; 36% have wet the baby’s head; 48% have had a date (although I should add that my own pub dates have included both the good and bad) What is clear, however, is that communities, and the residents that make up those communities, rely heavily on the pub for social life and communication... social media rendered manifest.  However 40% of those questioned also responded they use the pub less now than they did a year ago, and part of that will be down, quite simply, to the rising cost of a pint.  “Generous George” Osborne has helped in that regard by taking a penny off the duty on a pint, but besides the politicians, there is also much that publicans can themselves do, to help with costs.

Handy tips for energy efficient cooking

So let’s shut the bar for a moment and take that step into the kitchen.  Many more pubs now offer food as a way of generating a further revenue stream.  However, if not completely au fait with running a kitchen, some energy saving steps might be missed, and so here are a few steps that might help (steps that should also be communicated to the staff).  For instance, chef should never boil any more water than is absolutely needed.  Also, chef should only use saucepans of the right size, both for boiling water and for food preparation... always looking to maximise heat transfer, economically.  Further, don't leave the ovens on overnight so that they are already pre-warmed on arrival (as some do), and even on arrival, don’t immediately turn on all the kitchen equipment – such as hobs and ovens – but only when they are needed.  Equally, always counsel kitchen staff away from using the ovens to keep warm in the colder months. In the warmer months, conversely, make sure you turn off the heating boilers, when they possibly won’t be needed.   And moving on to boilers, make sure your boiler (as well as the hot water tanks and pipes) are all fully insulated.  Also, you only need to heat water in boilers to around 65 degrees, so don’t unnecessarily overheat the water, and thereby waste energy.  A boiler can, eventually, start to lose efficiency so regularly inspect the boiler plant, checking for excessive noise from the burners and pumps, burn marks on the flues or other damage or any water leaks.  Warning lights may indicate many of these issues but to be on the safe side have your boiler serviced regularly, to ensure efficiency. You will have heard a lot about switching provider to get a better energy deal, and certainly Utility Helpline can assist.  But sometimes, simple steps such as these will also lead to lower bills. If you are a pub or restaurant looking to save money on your energy bills, please get in touch. We've worked extensively with the on-trade for several years and our experience could make the difference to your business.  

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