Our guide to  business energy for restaurants

12th Jul 2023 | Mollie Pinnington | 3 minute read

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Busy restaurants are faced with a unique challenge when it comes to energy use - they need to provide the service their customers expect, while also controlling expenses related to energy. Restaurants are being hit especially hard by rising energy costs. The sheer volume of energy used in restaurant operations can add up quickly. Our energy experts at Online Energy have put together a specialised blog giving restaurant owners tips and tricks on how to manage and reduce energy expenses.

What do restaurants typically use energy on?

Restaurants use energy on a broad range of appliances, including refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, stoves, dishwashers, and lighting. Refrigeration is perhaps the most energy-intensive of these appliances, due to the need to maintain temperatures within a certain range to keep food fresh. Air conditioning is also a major energy user, as restaurants must keep their customers comfortable.

According to research, refrigeration is the biggest electricity user in a restaurant. business fridges usually account for up to 50% of a business’s electricity bill. The biggest gas user in a restaurant is usually cooking appliances, with these using up to 70% of the restaurant's total gas bill.


How are energy rates for restaurants calculated?

Business rates for restaurants can be calculated based on the energy they use. Typically, the more energy a restaurant consumes, the higher its rate will be. For example, businesses that use large amounts of refrigeration will typically have higher electricity bills than those that don't.

There are no set deals for business energy contracts, so one restaurant's energy bills could vary significantly from another. Some factors that the price of your tariff will be based on include usage, location, and type of tariff. Usage is determined by how much energy a restaurant consumes in a certain period, which can depend on the size of the restaurant and the type of equipment used. Some factors include:

  • size of business
  • Operating times
  • Consumption
  • Business location
  • Credit rating


What is the best type of energy contract for a restaurant?

Businesses within the hospitality sector, such as restaurants, often find themselves with mounting energy bills due to the vast amount of energy needed to keep their customers comfortable and serve food safely.

Businesses in the hospitality sector, such as restaurants, need to be mindful of their energy consumption so that they can keep their costs down. The best way to do this is by choosing the right business energy tariff for their needs. Different types of tariffs offer different levels of savings, depending on the size and type of restaurant, its location, and energy consumption.

For example, restaurants located in areas with high energy demand charges could benefit from a time-of-use tariff, which costs less during off-peak hours. Larger businesses may also be able to take advantage of bulk purchasing discounts or fixed-rate contracts with guaranteed rates over a set period of time.

It is important for restaurant owners to compare different business energy tariffs and find the one that best suits their needs. Additionally, businesses can reduce their energy usage by implementing energy-saving measures, such as switching off lights when not in use and using efficient lighting.

At Online Energy we are committed to helping restaurants manage their energy costs effectively and find the best energy deal for them. Compare gas and electricity here with us today!


What are some energy-saving tips and tricks for restaurants?

  • Upgrade equipment to more energy-efficient models. Many of the appliances used in restaurants come with built-in features designed to save energy.
  • Make sure to properly maintain and repair your equipment regularly. A well-maintained appliance runs more efficiently and uses less energy than one that is not maintained correctly.
  • Take advantage of natural daylighting. By making use of the sun’s rays, you can reduce the need for indoor lighting and save on electricity costs.
  • Use energy-saving settings on equipment. For example, many fridges and freezers have a “vacation” setting that reduces the temperature slightly while you are away from the restaurant for an extended period of time.
  • Invest in energy-efficient lighting solutions. LED lights use considerably less power than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they last much longer, too.
  • Consider installing a solar panel system on your roof. Solar panels can provide clean, renewable energy to help power your restaurant and reduce utility expenses.
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