The vast majority of restaurant equipment is available to consumers in both gas and electric. Most customers simply go with what their building is already set up for, assuming that it would be too costly to make the switch from electric to gas, or vice versa. However, have you done your due diligence to find out what is more efficient in your area? Although the cost to convert may be hefty, it may very well be worth it! Depending on where you are in the US, the cost of gas versus electric can be drastic. Check out the graph below: (The numbers on the left are dollar amounts)
Based on the figure above, if your New York Pizzeria operates on Electricity, for example, and you were using a (common) Lincoln oven to bake your pies…given that it takes an approximately equal amount of energy to reach and maintain the same temperature, check out the breakdown in costs:
17 cents per KW X 27 KW = $4.59
So $4.59/ hour for 1 hr for the ELECTRIC oven [till the oven is at normal operating temp then approx 50% thereafter]. That would be $2.29 per hour but as the electric oven has a longer recovery time the usage would be closer to 65-70% approx $2.98-$3.20/hr
1 Cubic Foot of gas has approximately 1020 BTU's. 1000 cubic ft X 1020 BTU =1020000 BTU in 1000 cubic ft.
$6.60 per 1000 cubic ft = 6.60 for 1020000 BTU. $6.60 divided by 1020000 = .00000647058 per BTU multiplied by 120000 BTU =77 cents/hr
So $0.77/ hour for 1 hr for the GAS oven [till the oven is at normal operating temp then approx 50% thereafter].That would be 38 cents per hour
As you can clearly see, operating in New York, the cost of gas at $.38 per hour versus electricity at average $3.00 per hour is a heck of a difference that could essentially make or break your business! According to the figure above a pizzeria in California would suffer the same high costs of operating in Electricity.
To further the cost equations, one should also consider the ‘Total Energy Efficiency’ or TEE. The TEE is measuring the efficiency of the entire energy cycle from production through the actual point of use. In short, TEE explains why the cost of electricity is so expensive; electricity must be converted from other forms of energy (ie. coal , nuclear, steam, gas, etc.) and during the process much energy is lost, and of course someone needs to pay for this lost energy so guess what? YOU pay for it!
During the process of converting gas to electricity, for example, up to 73% of energy is lost! This often proves that gas is more effective and greener than electricity, as it has a higher TEE (cumulative amount of BTUs delivered from the point of extraction to the point of use.) Although electric appliances may be more highly efficient at the point of use, the energy lost on its generation and transmission to that point of use gives reason to it being less cost effective than gas.
Check out this example scenario, sited from “Reducing Electric Demand With Energy Efficient Gas Equipment”
“…let’s assume that we start with 100,000 BTUs of natural gas at the wellhead and convert it into electricity at a power plant, transfer it via wires to your restaurant, where it then “goes to work” in your kitchen. During this process, we have lost 73% of our original energy, thereby delivering only 27,000 BTUs to your facility, but yet billing you for the entire 100,000.
On the other hand, we start with that same 100,000 BTUs of natural gas at the wellhead and send it directly to your restaurant through a series of underground pipelines, and voila, we’ve delivered 90,000 BTUs of useable energy — only losing 10,000 BTUs during the process. This is the cumulative delivered energy factor that makes the cost of natural gas significantly less expensive than electricity; up to 75% less in many cases!”