Ideas to keep your business cooking.

Easy to serve energy ideas for coolers, kitchens, dining rooms and more.

Efficiency is our house specialty. From cozy diners to dining hotspots to banquet halls, DTE Energy has innovation and insights to trim the fat out of your cooking and refrigeration energy usage.

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration

Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor nearly doubled the size of its business while increasing their energy usage by less than 10%, and in the process, secured $50,000 in DTE Energy rebates.

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El Rancho is a popular Detroit restaurant that saved approximately 75% on the lighting portion of its electricity bills by replacing 30 incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFLs.

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DTE Energy can help your bottom line with incentives – prescriptive, custom or new construction -- that can substantially reduce the cost of your business projects. Learn more today.


ENERGY STAR®-certified

ENERGY STAR®-certification available in eight product categories
The ENERGY STAR®-certification currently is available in eight product categories: commercial hot food holding cabinets, solid and glass door refrigerators and freezers, fryers, steam cookers, ice machines, ovens (convection and combination ovens), griddles and dishwashers. These energy-efficient products offer energy savings of 10% to 70% over standard models, depending on the product category.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial convection ovens
Commercial convection ovens are the most widely used appliances in the foodservice industry. These are the workhorses of the commercial kitchen, with a wide variety of uses from baking and roasting to warming and reheating. Each ENERGY STAR®-certified electric oven can save businesses 1,870 kWh annually, or an average of $190/year on utility bills. Each ENERGY STAR®-certified gas oven can save 30 MBtu annually, or an average of $360/year on utility bills.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified standard sized fryers
Standard sized fryers that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are up to 30% more energy efficient than standard models and large vat commercial fryers that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are up to 35% more energy efficient than non-certified models.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified electric or gas fryers
A standard sized electric or gas fryer model that is ENERGY STAR®-certified can save 1,100 kWh/year or 50 MBtu/year in energy, respectively. This equates to a savings of $100 and $470 annually on utility bills. ENERGY STAR®-certified large vat electric and gas commercial fryers can save 1,790 kWh/year and 58 MBtu/year in energy, respectively. This equates to a savings of $170 and $500 annually on utility bills.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial dishwashers
Commercial dishwashers that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are, on average, 25% more energy and water efficient than standard models.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified hot food holding cabinets
Hot food holding cabinets that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are 70% more energy efficient than standard models. On average, ENERGY STAR®-certified models can save $300/year on electricity or more than $2,800 over the product lifetime when compared to a standard model. Good practices can save $650 annually by turning off an uninsulated holding cabinet when the kitchen is closed (8 hours).

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial griddles
Commercial griddles that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are about 10% more energy efficient than standard models. Saving energy helps kitchen operators save money on utility bills and protect the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This equates to savings of $120 per year for gas models and $100 per year for electric models and about $1,100 and $1,200 over the product lifetime for gas and electric models, respectively.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified ice machines
ENERGY STAR®-certified ice machines can save $130 on electricity and $18 on water annually.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified steam cookers
ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial steam cookers save 4,930 kWh (electric models) or 33 MBtu (gas models) annually. This equates to a savings of nearly $510 annually on utility bills.

Purchase ENERGY STAR®-certified kitchen equipment
If you’re in the market for new equipment, think in terms of life-cycle costs, which includes purchase price, annual energy costs and other long-term costs associated with the equipment. While high-efficiency appliances could cost more up front, significantly lower utility bills can make up for the price difference. Be sure to ask your dealer or kitchen designer to supply you with ENERGY STAR®-certified equipment.

Ice Machines

Install high efficiency ice machines
Install high-efficiency ice machines and set production for nighttime hours to reduce demand charges.

Bigger ice machines work best
Bigger ice machines are typically more efficient than smaller ones, yet the price difference is usually not very large. Choose wisely and you could get twice the ice capacity at half the energy cost per pound of ice.

Water-cooled ice machines
Avoid water-cooled ice machines because of their high water usage costs, which makes them significantly more expensive.

Source for the above Appliance tips:

Kitchen Equipment

Cook wisely
Ovens tend to be more efficient than rotisseries; griddles tend to be more efficient than broilers. Examine your cooking methods and menu; find ways to rely on your more energy-efficient appliances to cook for your customers.

Cut equipment idle time
If you leave your equipment ON when it is not performing useful work, it costs you money. Implement a startup/shutdown plan to make sure you are using only the equipment that you need, when you need it.

Maintain and repair equipment to save energy
Leaky walk-in refrigerator gaskets, freezer doors that do not shut, cooking appliances that have lost their knobs—all these “energy leaks” add up to money wasted each month. Don’t let every day wear and tear drive up your energy bills.

Check thermostats and recalibrate appliances and equipment
The performance of your kitchen equipment changes over time. Thermostats and control systems can fail, fall out of calibration, or need readjusted. Take the time to do a regular thermostat check on your appliances, refrigeration, dish machines and hot water heaters and reset them to the correct operating temperature.

Run dishwashers when full
Use dishwashers only when full to conserve energy, water and detergent.

Improve walk-in refrigerators
Add strip curtains and automatic door closers to your walk-in refrigerator: they are inexpensive and easy-to-install. Strip curtains can cut outside air infiltration by about 75%.

Source for the above Kitchen Equipment tips:

Fan Motors

Install ECM fan motors
Install electronically commutated motors (ECM) on the evaporator and condenser fans to reduce fan energy consumption by approximately two-thirds.

Source for the above Fan Motors tip:

Energy Use

Restaurant energy use
Restaurants use about five to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. High-volume quick-service restaurants (QSRs) may even use up to 10 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings.

Source for the above Energy Use tip:


Use daylight sensors
Try daylight sensors (photocells). A common inefficiency of exterior lighting systems is a tendency to “dayburn,” leaving exterior lights on during the day, wasting energy and money. This problem can be prevented by installing daylight sensors that turn the lights on and off automatically based on daylight.

Install LED exit signs
Replace incandescent exit signs with LED signs. They use less than 5 watts of power and last more than 10 years.

Use occupancy sensors
Install occupancy sensors in closets, storage rooms, break rooms and restrooms. Check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility with controls.

Use shading devices
Keep blinds open during daylight hours and take advantage of the sun's warmth during the winter. Keep them closed during the summer, especially on southern exposures, to reduce solar heating.

Lighting is a great start to energy efficiency upgrades
Lighting is a significant energy expense—averaging 13% of the total energy breakdown of a restaurant—and is a great place to start an efficiency upgrade.



Tune up HVAC equipment yearly
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly. Just as a tune-up for a car can improve gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified fans
ENERGY STAR®-certified ventilating fan models use 70% less energy than standard models, and certified ceiling fan/light combination units are 50% or more efficient than conventional units.

Source for the above HVAC tips: