Almost every utility company offers rebates, incentives, tax credits and small loans to businesses that upgrade equipment or facilities to be more energy efficient. Most also offer free energy consultation and conservation services that will evaluate your business and help find areas to reduce consumption and possible upgrades. Rebates and tax credits are even offered specifically for foodservice equipment. Be sure to check with your local utility and with your state department of energy before you make any new equipment purchases. (See below)
Rebates, Tax Credits and Loans
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a national database of financial incentives offered by local, state and federal governments and utilities. DESIRE focuses mainly on renewable energy and larger energy efficiency incentives such solar water installation and HVAC and lighting upgrades. This is the most complete database of incentives on the web.
Energy Star Rebate Offer Search provides information geared towards residential incentives, but is also relevant to most businesses. This detailed search engine looks for incentives based on zip code and criteria such as office equipment, CFLs or heating and air conditioning.
Thanks to Energy Star and the Food Service Technology Center, commercial foodservice equipment is becoming energy efficient and labeled Energy Star. Along with these labels come rebates in a variety of areas. Energy Star has created a Commercial Food Service Rebate Locator that provides information on rebates offered for purchasing Energy Star commercial equipment. At the moment this equipment includes refrigeration, hot food holding cabinets, fryers and steam cookers. They are currently in the process of developing Energy Star specifications for ice machines, commercial dishwashers and residential water heaters which many foodservice operations still use.
The Energy Star locator only provides information on Energy Star related incentives. There are, however, incentives available for other energy efficient commercial kitchen equipment. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a non-profit organization of energy efficiency program administrators, has created specifications for commercial foodservice equipment that are equivalent to or higher than Energy Star. CEE members also agree on specifications for other product categories such as lighting, HVAC, and overall building performance. The CEE Web site is geared towards efficiency program managers and is a little on the technical side. The most useful information is found under the "Qualifying Products" and "Resources/Link" links." links.
In addition to CEE, the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) has additional lists of energy efficient commercial kitchen equipment that neither Energy Star nor CEE list. These include combination, convection and rack ovens, large vat-fryers and griddles. The rebates offered on this link are only available for California businesses, but can be referenced for qualified equipment if your utility is offering rebates on the aforementioned equipment.
Some utilities are offering incentives for switching equipment from gas to electric or visa versa, but don't necessarily require Energy Star, CEE or FSTC levels of efficiency. Other utilities are offering incentives for exhaust hood vent controls, low-flow pre-wash sprayers and booster heaters.
Because utilities and states are often updating their incentives the Energy Star rebate locator does not show every incentive currently available. The list below includes a few incentives that at the time of this pages upload (4-13-07) were not listed on the Energy Star site. If your state or utility offers an incentive for Energy Star foodservice equipment, they may also offer incentives on other equipment qualified by CEE or FSTC.
Additional Food Service Equipment Rebate Programs
-not currently listed on Energy Star Rebate Locator or DSIRE web site
Pacific Northwest Rebates -
Washington: Seattle Water Utility -
Tax Incentives Assistance Project
Web site developed to help individuals and businesses take advantage of federal tax credits.