Make your utility pay you

It doesn't always take money to make money. You may be able to get rebates, lower operational costs and other savings opportunities from your utility company, but you have to ask.

Many utility companies offer a range of low-cost or no-cost tactics to help their commercial customers reduce energy expenses. And if you're in the market for new equipment such as walk-in coolers, refrigeration systems or other technology, part of your purchase cost of high-efficiency equipment may be offset by rebates offered by your local utility.

Here is what some utilities are offering. >

•  Make your utility pay you
•  Going for the green
•  Close the door!

Going for the green

It's not always easy to be green – but it's definitely worth the effort. Green practices that reduce your facility's environmental impact can have a positive impact on your bottom line, too, reducing your energy and water costs while protecting natural resources.

According to the ENERGY STAR® program, facilities with commercial kitchens use significantly more energy than other types of buildings, approximately 250,000 Btu per square foot annually. If you're ready to go green – and keep a little more green in your budget – here's how to get started.

Involve your entire staff. >

Close the door!

Close the door! Sure it's a simple thing, but how often have you seen an employee propping open the door of the walk-in for an extended period? Making sure the door is closed at all times, unless someone is going in or out of the walk-in, is the easiest way to reduce wasted energy.

Want more simple steps? >

Milking it

If you buy and sell milk, ice cream or other dairy products, there's grim news: Although this year's increase in food costs was the lowest since 1992, you can expect a two to three percent increase in 2011, with dairy and meat leading the way. A Des Moines Register interview with the USDA forecasts the largest increase since 2008, when there was a 5.5 percent jump due to a large rise in the cost of corn and other commodities.


See how 7-Eleven convenience stores are controlling their operational costs with sustainable design. >

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At Heatcraft Refrigeration Products, our mission is to make our customers feel comfortable, so we make it our policy to never release, rent or sell personal information to third parties. © 2011 Lennox Industries Inc.