Running a restaurant is an energy-intensive business, and understanding how much electricity a restaurant uses per day is crucial for managing expenses and optimizing operations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the average daily and monthly electricity consumption for restaurants, the factors influencing energy usage, and actionable tips to reduce energy costs. We’ll also delve into the average restaurant utilities cost and the energy requirements for a restaurant to be able to run efficiently.

Average Daily Electricity Consumption for Restaurants

Restaurants typically consume a considerable amount of electricity daily due to the nature of their operations. On average, a restaurant uses between 1,500 to 3,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity per month, which translates to approximately 50 to 100 kWh per day. However, this can vary significantly depending on the size of the restaurant, the type of equipment used, and the hours of operation.

Factors Influencing Daily Energy Consumption

Several factors influence the daily energy consumption of a restaurant:

  1. Size and Type of Restaurant: Larger restaurants with extensive dining areas and more equipment will naturally consume more electricity than smaller establishments. Fine dining restaurants may use more energy than fast-food outlets due to additional appliances and longer operating hours.
  2. Equipment and Appliances: Commercial kitchens are equipped with energy-intensive appliances like ovens, fryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. The energy efficiency of these appliances significantly impacts overall consumption. Upgrading to ENERGY STAR-rated equipment can make a notable difference.
  3. Operating Hours: Restaurants that operate longer hours, especially those offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner services, will have higher energy consumption. Some establishments may also stay open late, contributing to increased electricity usage.
  4. Seasonal Variations: Energy usage can fluctuate with seasons. For instance, heating requirements in winter and cooling in summer can increase electricity consumption. Seasonal menu changes can also affect the type and amount of energy used in food preparation.

Average Monthly Electric Bill for Restaurant

The average monthly electric bill for a restaurant varies widely based on location, energy rates, and the factors mentioned above. Generally, restaurants can expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 per month on electricity. This estimate includes all the electrical needs such as lighting, heating, cooling, kitchen equipment, and other utilities.

How Much Energy in kW Does a Restaurant Need to Run?

To calculate how much energy in kW is required for a restaurant to be able to run, it’s important to consider all the major electrical appliances and their power ratings. Here’s a breakdown of typical energy-consuming equipment in a restaurant:

  1. Refrigeration Units: 2-6 kW each, running 24/7.
  2. Ovens and Stoves: 5-15 kW, depending on size and type.
  3. Dishwashers: 2-5 kW.
  4. HVAC Systems: 5-10 kW for heating and cooling.
  5. Lighting: 1-3 kW, depending on the size and type of lighting used.

Adding these up, a medium-sized restaurant might require approximately 20-30 kW to run all necessary equipment simultaneously. This is a rough estimate and actual requirements can vary.

Average Restaurant Utilities Cost

Beyond electricity, restaurants incur other utility costs including gas, water, and waste management. On average, the total utilities cost for a restaurant can range from $2,500 to $8,000 per month. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Electricity: $1,000 – $3,000 per month.
  2. Gas: $500 – $2,000 per month (for cooking and heating).
  3. Water: $300 – $1,000 per month (for cleaning, cooking, and customer use).
  4. Waste Management: $200 – $500 per month.

These figures are estimates and can vary based on the restaurant’s size, location, and specific operational needs.

Detailed Breakdown of Energy Usage by Equipment


Refrigeration is one of the largest energy consumers in a restaurant. Commercial refrigerators and freezers run 24/7 to keep food fresh and safe. These units can consume between 2 to 6 kW each, depending on their size and efficiency. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning coils and ensuring proper sealing, can help reduce their energy consumption.

Cooking Equipment

Ovens, stoves, fryers, and other cooking appliances are essential in any restaurant but are also significant energy hogs. Depending on their type and size, these appliances can consume between 5 to 15 kW. Investing in modern, energy-efficient models and using them efficiently (e.g., preheating only when necessary) can help manage their energy use.


Dishwashers in restaurants are used frequently throughout the day, consuming 2 to 5 kW. Energy-efficient dishwashers can reduce water and energy use. Additionally, ensuring they are loaded fully before running can maximize their efficiency.

HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are critical for maintaining a comfortable dining environment. These systems can consume between 5 to 10 kW, depending on the size of the restaurant and the efficiency of the units. Regular maintenance and smart thermostat usage can optimize their performance and reduce energy costs.


Lighting is another essential component, especially in creating the right ambiance. Restaurants typically use a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting, which can consume 1 to 3 kW. Switching to LED lighting and installing dimmers and motion sensors can significantly reduce lighting energy consumption.

Tips to Reduce Energy Costs in Restaurants

Reducing energy costs is crucial for improving profitability and sustainability. Here are some tips:

  1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Equipment: Investing in energy-efficient appliances can significantly reduce electricity consumption. Look for ENERGY STAR-rated equipment which uses less energy and can save on utility bills.
  2. Implement Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance of HVAC systems, refrigeration units, and other equipment ensures they operate efficiently and consume less energy. Clean and service equipment regularly to avoid inefficiencies that lead to higher energy usage.
  3. Optimize Lighting: Use LED lighting and install dimmers and motion sensors to reduce unnecessary lighting usage. LED lights consume less energy and have a longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
  4. Train Staff: Educate staff on energy-saving practices, such as turning off equipment when not in use and ensuring doors and windows are closed to maintain indoor temperatures. Employee awareness can lead to significant energy savings.
  5. Conduct Energy Audits: Regular energy audits can help identify areas of high consumption and opportunities for savings. Audits provide insights into energy use patterns and suggest cost-effective measures to reduce energy usage.
  6. Utilize Smart Thermostats: Smart thermostats can optimize heating and cooling, reducing energy waste during off-peak hours. These devices adjust temperatures based on occupancy and time of day, ensuring efficient energy use.
  7. Insulate and Seal: Proper insulation and sealing of windows and doors can prevent energy loss, reducing the load on HVAC systems. This helps maintain a comfortable environment while lowering energy costs.
  8. Energy Management Systems: Invest in energy management systems that monitor and control energy usage in real-time. These systems can provide actionable insights and automate energy-saving measures, leading to significant reductions in energy consumption.

Additional Strategies for Energy Savings

  1. Optimize Kitchen Layout: Designing an efficient kitchen layout can reduce the travel time between appliances and minimize the time that doors are open on refrigerators and freezers, reducing energy loss.
  2. Schedule Energy-Intensive Tasks: Perform energy-intensive tasks during off-peak hours when energy rates may be lower. For instance, scheduling baking or dishwashing during times when the restaurant is closed to the public can help manage energy usage better.
  3. Incorporate Renewable Energy: If feasible, consider incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels. This can provide a portion of the restaurant’s energy needs and reduce reliance on the grid.
  4. Monitor Energy Usage: Use energy monitoring tools to keep track of energy consumption in real-time. This can help identify spikes in usage and areas where energy savings can be made.

Optimize Your Restaurant’s Energy Usage for Cost Savings

Understanding how much electricity a restaurant uses per day and the average utilities cost is key to managing operational expenses effectively. By knowing the daily and monthly consumption, influencing factors, and typical utility costs, restaurant owners can make informed decisions to optimize energy use. Implementing energy-saving measures reduces costs and promotes sustainability.

Take the First Step Towards Energy Efficiency

Are you looking to optimize your restaurant’s energy usage and reduce costs? Smart Energize can help. Our experts offer comprehensive energy audits, recommend energy-efficient equipment, and implement smart energy management systems tailored to your needs. Contact us today for a consultation and start saving money while becoming more sustainable.