At 16 years old, the Kiremko frying range at Harlees restaurant and takeaway in Verwood, Dorset, had outlived its expected life span, so when it came to replacing it, director Kaylee Herbert saw it as a perfect opportunity to reduce the eight-strong chain’s carbon footprint.

“We want to be a responsible company and reduce our impact on the planet,” says Kaylee.

“When we looked into our carbon emissions, one of our biggest energy demands was our frying range, yet we needed more capacity. At the same time, we didn’t want to increase our gas usage. We also wanted a higher spec filtration system to help prolong the life of the oil, reducing our waste and carbon footprint.”

It was a tough brief, but KFE delivered with a seven pan high efficiency island range with built-in triple filtration that it projected would be 25% more efficient than the range it replaced, reducing gas usage by 30% and saving an estimated eight tonnes of CO2.

Armed with this information, Kaylee secured a grant from Low Carbon Dorset, an organisation that helps businesses deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, to cover 25% of the cost of the frying range.

The new high efficiency Kiremko was installed in 2020 and immediately the savings were noticeable.

In the first year, Harlees saved around £1,400 on its annual gas bill at Verwood and reduced carbon emissions by 7.5% compared with the previous range with like for like pan usage.

Kaylee adds: “The savings have been really beneficial because not only can we say we are a more sustainable business and that we are reducing our environmental impact, but the cost savings have allowed us to invest in other areas, such as technology to improve the service and efficiency across all the shops.”

With Harlees working closely with KFE to provide the necessary information to access the grant, Kaylee comments: “KFE’s professionalism and service were invaluable to our success in receiving the grant. We have a long history with KFE so were aware that the efficiency of its frying ranges has significantly improved since our initial Kiremko was installed in 2006, but the level of savings on energy and the efficiency of its ranges compared with the other manufacturers we looked at has been exceptional.”

As part of its efforts to reduce its environmental impact further, Harlees has undergone an audit that found other areas of the business where it could reduce emissions and save on energy. For example, solar panels have been installed on the roof space at Verwood, saving a further three tonnes of CO2 and £675 on energy bills a year. 

Drink display fridges have been fitted with timer switches to come on one hour before the shop opens and to turn off half an hour before closing, while walk-in fridges feature Endocube-style devices that prevent fluctuations in temperatures caused when doors are opened. Even the simple step of insulating hot water pipes has helped minimise heat loss and contributed to lowering its carbon footprint.

Watch our interview with Harlees owner Richard Long as he talks about why he’s stayed with KFE for 25 years here.