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Cost-Saving Tips: Preventative maintenance can manage costly energy usage

1st Apr 2024 - 04:00
Turning equipment on only when you need it and preventive maintenance can help manage costly energy usage, says the Food Service Equipment Association (FEA).

Finding ways to reduce energy consumption has long been a priority in the foodservice industry. It is one of the biggest cost outlays, and as the cost of living crisis continues many businesses are increasing their efforts to cut their use of resources.

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the largest organisation representing the equipment sector and it recently asked its members for their best energy saving tips and tricks, to help give you the edge in your efforts to reduce your costs.


Cooking food is energy intensive, and it can be a difficult area to cut down on. As well as the energy required to operate the cooking equipment itself, the additional energy costs of any extraction and ventilation systems are directly tied to how much they’re used.

The simplest way to reduce energy consumption is to only use your prime cooking equipment when it’s needed. Planning your daily activities and only switching on equipment as it’s needed can have a huge effect on energy usage.

Replacing traditional equipment with multifunctional appliances and induction hobs can have a significant effect on energy use in the kitchen. Not just from having fewer appliances, but also because they are often faster and more efficient than standard equipment. What’s more, they can have knock on effects, for example by reducing or even removing the need for additional systems like extraction.


Warewashers - and any piece of equipment that uses water – should be descaled at least twice a year, or more depending on water hardness. Limescale build up means more energy is required to heat the water. Water treatment systems are essential and reduce build up, protecting your machine. Even so, it will need regular descaling to keep it operating at peak efficiency.

Choosing modern equipment that can be used on demand will help save energy. Look for systems with fast heat up times, shorter wash cycles and those capable of rapid temperature changes. Always use the right chemicals for the machine too – it saves wasting energy by having to process things twice.

Got a foodservice equipment question?  Ask the experts or #FEAuk

Why food waste can be a money-saver

Planning the kitchen of the future must take into account every energy and labour-saving innovation you can find, says Paul Anderson, managing director of Meiko UK.

“Our catering food waste will increasingly be at an anaerobic digestion plant for conversion to biogas and fertilizer. The question for catering managers is how to get it there at the least labour cost,” he says.

“The cost-saving tip is choosing a food waste recycling solution that recycles food straight from the chopping board and cuts your labour needs by cutting secondary handling, cleaning and staff movement.

“If you can, build a food waste recycling hopper into the tabling in the prep area. This makes it easier than putting waste in a bin – scraps from the chopping board go down the black hole, and you never need to see them again.”

Written by
Edward Waddell