Since opening in 2013, Twiggs Gastropub in downtown St. Albans has managed to stay lean and profitable while quickly becoming a downtown favorite. Success in the restaurant industry isn’t easy—overhead is high and margins are slim. That’s where energy efficiency can be a big help.
Efficiency Vermont reached out to Twiggs soon after it opened and, after an in-depth tour of the facility, was able to recommend a number of ways to save energy and keep expenses down.
Twiggs didn’t have the capital to knock out everything at once, but Efficiency Vermont worked with the owners to prioritize the projects that would have the quickest return on investment, and the restaurant has been upgrading things as they’re able.
Lighting usually offers a quick return for a small cost upfront, so Efficiency Vermont recommended that Twiggs start there. Working with a local supplier, they switched all of their lighting over to discounted high-performance bulbs. The project paid for itself within months, and the new lighting looks and works better, too.
A year later, the restaurant was ready to tackle the refrigerator/freezer overhaul recommended by Efficiency Vermont. Working with a local contractor, they installed high-performance refrigeration components, using a rebate to help offset project costs.
Addressing energy efficiency over time, as part of other necessary upgrades, has been a great strategy for Twiggs. “The savings may seem small at first, but it adds up,” says co-owner Kristin Murphy. And that savings is amplified in a restaurant, due to long operating hours and heavy utility needs. “I don’t know if other restaurants realize how quickly their electric and fuel bills can add up.”