"Dont just sign up to an energy deal and forget about it."
Fish and chip shops are well-known to be energy-intensive. While they need basic energy supplies, such as keeping lights on, they obviously all have to power fryers, ovens and keep fridges and freezers at the correct temperature.
This can lead to higher energy bills, which can eat into profit margins. Because of this, it can be important for fish and chip shop proprietors to cast an eye over the energy they are using and become more efficient. This may well help to improve their bottom line, but it can also help the business become more sustainable.
For those in the industry, there are ways to save energy. If a business slashes its energy use by 20 per cent, it could have the same benefit as a five per cent increase in sales. Therefore, it really does pay to pay attention to energy wastage.
There is an abundance of ways to become more energy efficient, whether it’s through equipment changes, a tweak to operations, or finding the hidden places where energy is being unnecessarily lost. Here, gas cylinder suppliers Flogas offer their five top tips for UK fish and chip shops to help them save energy and reap the financial and environmental rewards.
Know your energy usage
Making sure you know how much energy you’re using is the first step. You must monitor how much gas and electricity your business uses each year. Only then will you be able to see where you can make positive changes.
While there are some obvious points as to how we waste energy, including inefficient equipment, others might be out of sight. For example, smart meters can show where your biggest energy expenditures are in real time. This will give you a clear picture and then you can make an informed energy reduction plan for maximum impact.
Do regular checks
You may be missing a trick if you don’t routinely check your equipment. For example, if your freezer coils get dirty, that could impact its energy use by as much as 50 per cent — so regular cleaning will help ensure maximum efficiency.
Similarly, keep an eye out for any leaky sinks and dishwashers. These could be costing you a fortune without you even knowing. Regular checks mean you can avoid letting valuable water (and money) drip away.
Make sure your heating system is also on your check list. Heating costs can increase by 30 per cent or more if the boiler is poorly operated or maintained.
Make small changes
You should encourage staff members to get involved with any small changes which can make a huge difference. For example, create a list of equipment that can be switched off fully after hours (or set to timers) and make sure people get into good habits.
They should be flagging up any examples of energy being unnecessarily wasted. This could include ensuring that windows aren’t being left open and that the fryers are being used sensibly.
Invest in energy efficient equipment
You should look to use energy efficient machines and appliances as they will automatically have a positive impact on your operating expenses. This is something to bear in mind when buying any new equipment.
The choice of lighting in your establishment can also make a big difference. For example, efficient LEDs use around 80 per cent less electricity than standard bulbs and provide a long lifespan of around 50,000 hours. The Carbon Trust has a Green Business Fund, providing independent advice and procurement support for small-medium sized business looking to make energy-saving equipment purchases.
Negotiate a better energy deal
Don’t just sign up to an energy deal and forget about it. Many utility companies will often lure in businesses with an unmissable deal in year one, then hike prices in the following years — or put you on a more expensive variable rate once your fixed price deal ends. When it’s time to renew, research the best options. If there’s a better offer on the table, take it. For example, you might opt for an extended fixed-term contract to futureproof your fish and chip shop from price rises.
* Statistics from The Carbon Trust