QUICK POLL: Why do kitchen buyers still choose price over energy efficiency?

Manufacturers have invested heavily in making their equipment more efficient in recent years. But many in the industry still believe that operators consider other factors — particularly price — over and above efficiency. Why do you think this is?

Bob Wood, director, DC Warewashing & Icemaking Systems: Like many things in the catering arena it depends not just on the dealer but also the customer, and the relationship between the two. A distributor that works closely with their customer will tend to have more influence and be in a position to explain the virtues and advantages of energy efficient technologies within machines, helping to justify the often increased initial capital cost.

On the flip side, distributors are ultimately guided by the purchasing priorities (cost) and requirements of their customers and tailor their product suggestions and recommendations accordingly. Customers with a focus on long-term cost savings potential and/or have a commitment to a social agenda or a carbon reduction policy will obviously demand products to suit their requirements, while those with a focus on initial capital cost may be tempted to steer the other way.

Nic Banner, sales director, Induced Energy: Until induction is more mainstream it will always be price-driven. While you get what you pay for, those caterers venturing down the induction route for the first time may well want to try equipment at a lesser capital outlay, rather than going straight to the premium brands. It is for this reason that Induced Energy has recently introduced the QX by Induced Energy range of induction to fill a void in the market that allows caterers to try a high quality induction at a lower price.

Phil Smith, commercial manager, Retigo: I feel foodservice operators consider factors such as price over efficiency as they can’t always ‘see’ the efficiency of the equipment they are using. When purchasing equipment, the bottom line price is very clear and final. Energy efficiency only comes in when you take a look at the service bills every quarter.

Julian Lambert, sales director, Maidaid Halcyon: With anticipated reduced capital expenditure this year, major predictors of economic forecasts have indicated that economic growth will continue to weaken during 2018 and 2019. Due to these predictions, Maidaid Halcyon will continue to offer the market a full range of quality value for money and energy efficient warewashing solutions, giving the customer the best of both worlds. Maidaid Halcyon has always been aware that while customers require the most efficient equipment when the decision to purchase is made, a cheaper option will often be chosen although it will not be the most energy efficient.”



  1. Keith Warren said:

    In many operator businesses there is a disconnect between the Procurement team (where bonuses are related to buying as much equipment as possible for the lowest cost) and the Utilities team who are at the same time trying to drive down operating costs.
    In some enlightened businesses/operations the utilities team fund part of the purchase cost of more operationally efficient equipment. This achieves the overall objective of reducing energy costs.
    The overall goal of our industry must be to use lifecycle analysis of a product. The major element of the cost will be the energy & water bills.
    The work that CESA/Carbon Trust and DEFRA did with the Cut Carbon, Cut Cost Calculator is still very relevant in looking at this issue however it did not get the traction that it needed, or deserved, to become a tool for the whole of the industry to use. It was probable ahead of its time.
    Carbon reduction is the key driver behind the EU Circular Economy Package (CEP) that will drive manufacturers to improve the energy efficiency of their products. CESA and EFCEM have been very active in the developments re. energy labeling for professional refrigeration, this is as we know but a single element of the energy use of a kitchen.
    The Commission recognises the complexity and time required to develop standards for all energy using products and the CEP approach covers the complete life cycle of; raw materials, design, distribution, use, end of life reuse and recycling. The aim is to use no more resources in future than we have already available to us – so in future ALL waste becomes a resource.
    We will see a greater drive towards carbon accounting responsibility by companies throughout our supply chain.
    This combined by a drive to remove carbon from the energy generating network through the development of renewables and the like will also mean that the carbon efficiency of the energy being used will help achieve of the low carbon goals.

    Throughout all of this for our sector there need to be pragmatism in terms of equipment used but operators and its functionality for the task required.

    The combination of all these factors will make all who produce, specify and buy equipment, more aware of the role of energy cost and use. It is though regulation and education that the need to be more energy efficient will become a higher priority for us all. CESA has this as a key issue on its strategy agenda to advise, guide and lead the sector. We will be issuing a revised CEP white paper in the Summer. We are happy to advise any business on how CEP and the changes here will make an impact.

    • David Pedrette said:

      Well put Keith it’s all about education and understanding the benefits of adopting best practice recognising product provenance and quality over price that can really make a difference.

      If you only look at price and are blinded by it you will never see any of the other benefits until it’s too late and your competition has realised the benefits at your loss.

      As designers and manufacturers we have a duty to educate but you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink unfortunately, the only consolation is they will have to drink eventually or die.

      Keep up the good work at CESA banging the drum for British design and manufacturing..



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