Summer temperatures are coming and energy management should be on your mind because it's the best time to get a big bang for your investment. Here is a strategic playbook for the best summertime EMS investments.
According to a recent NOAA National Climate Center REDIT survey, temperature-related energy demand for the first four months of 2014 is up 27% over the long-term average and restaurateurs can expect that temperature-related energy demand to continue to climb during the coming summer months.
As a multi-unit restaurateur, have you established strategies to effectively utilize your energy management system (EMS) before summer arrives?
To address that often-asked question, here are some summer energy management strategies to help restaurateurs better utilize an EMS and effectively address the many challenges associated with rising energy costs and increased energy demand.
Gain Control of Your Temperatures: For most restaurants, HVAC is the second largest consumer of energy making HVAC controls important. To effectively manage HVAC requires an EnTouch One master controller that can provide both local and remote control of HVAC controls, but also can be locked down to eliminate unauthorized temperature changes. Remote HVAC controls provide consistent comfort during open hours with automatic power down of the HVAC when the restaurant is closed. Energy consumption and runtime data is uploaded to the cloud-based EnTouch Management Portal – in real time - to enable a restaurateur to effectively track energy savings and energy reductions.
Gain Control of Your Refrigeration: While refrigeration and freezers aren’t one of the biggest energy consumers in most restaurants, the hot summer months can stress these systems making them more frequently cycle between frost and defrost which consumes more energy to maintain the correct temperatures. The EnTouch GM Energy Monitor monitors how much energy your refrigeration unit is using to maintain temperatures and wirelessly sends that critical data up to our cloud-based management portal giving you valuable data on these cycles. In addition, an EnTouch Remote Sensor Module can track contact sensors for walk-in cooler / freezer doors to make sure that those doors are always being shut in a timely manner so that the cold is not being wasted. In addition to the benefits of lowering energy costs, refrigeration monitoring can greatly reduce the risk of food spoilage, which protects the health of your customers and the health of your bottom line profits.
Other Areas of Potential Savings: HVAC and refrigeration are the two biggest consumers of energy that are affected by summer temperatures. Below are several other energy saving ideas that can provide potential savings:
- Water, Gas & Energy Monitoring. Sanitation is a big energy consumer and often times that because of the hot water used to wash dishes. The EnTouch Remote Sensor Module, described above, supports pulse input, so that it can be used with sensors that track water, electricity and gas consumption. Facility managers can reduce sanitation costs by both tracking the energy consumed by the hot water heater, but also by tracking trends in hot water consumption to make sure that sanitation processes are in place to conserve that water.
- Lighting Controls. Lighting is the fourth highest consumer of energy for restaurants. The EnTouch Lighting Controls System allows scheduling and control of interior and exterior lighting and signage. Lighting controls can be managed on a circuit basis, giving the restaurant owner control over which lighting stays on at any period of time during the day.
These energy management solutions can dramatically lower energy bills. They provide visibility across your portfolio and can even expose potential maintenance issues before they occur. Additionally, by having remote access to an easy-to-use platform, restaurateurs are able to make real-time decisions that have immediate impact on the performance of the restaurant. Adding EnTouch 360 Management Services is an important resource for facility managers who want an expert eye on their operations 24/7.
Summer is tough time on the bottom line of a multi-unit restaurateur. Utilizing a proven strategy for energy management can help maximize energy savings, improve the bottom line revenues and ensure that their valued guests are comfortable and safe.