Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grants

Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grants

According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, food service and sales businesses are among the most energy cost burdened small businesses, consuming three times more electricity than the commercial average. This energy burden, coupled with high operational costs, can make it difficult to replace equipment. In the 2019 pilot of this program, PACE found equipment manufactured in the 1950s still in use!

The PACE Refrigeration & Restaurant Equipment Grant helps small, locally owned restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, and caterers in Boulder County replace inefficient refrigeration and restaurant equipment with brand-new, energy-efficient models.

There are substantial benefits to upgrading equipment:

  • Lower energy bills
  • More reliable equipment
  • Less maintenance
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Improved workplace comfort
  • Safer food handling temperatures/decreased health risks
  • Reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

While there are many benefits to replacing inefficient equipment, PACE understands there are also many barriers, including:

  • Cost
  • Selection of the correct equipment
  • Time involved in finding, vetting, and working with a vendor
  • Installation logistics
  • Removal and proper disposal of old equipment

Through the Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grant, PACE helps remove these barriers to provide your business an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of new, efficient equipment while helping your business and the community reach their sustainability goals. Click here to access the application.

What is included in the grant?

PACE negotiated discount pricing with Artzer Restaurant Equipment, a local vendor, to equip eligible participants with ENERGY STAR-certified restaurant and grocery equipment. The grant will pay for about 70%* of the costs upfront. Additionally, PACE covers up to 100% of the costs associated with the delivery and installation of new equipment as well as the proper disposal of old equipment. Existing equipment must be manufactured in 2009 or earlier to qualify.

*PACE covers 80% of the pre-tax cost of equipment. Participants pay the remaining 20% of the pre-tax cost, plus all sales tax on the transaction (the exact percentage of sales tax varies by location, but will be less than 10% of the pre-tax price).

The following equipment types are included in the grant:

  • Refrigerator units with doors
  • Freezer units with doors
  • Merchandisers
  • Dishwashers
  • Ice machines
  • Lighting (must have T12 fluorescent, the age of the equipment does not matter)

Existing equipment must be manufactured in 2009 or earlier in order to qualify for the grant. Please let us know if your equipment is currently not working and we will do our best to prioritize your application. New equipment must be powered by electricity (not natural gas).  If you have equipment that falls outside the above and you would like your project to be considered for the grant, please fill out the exception section of the interest form.

As part of the Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grant, PACE will also assist your business identify opportunities for water conservationwaste reduction, and upgrading additional building equipment, including lighting.

Who is eligible for the grant?

The Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grant is available to Boulder County business owners who meet each of the following criteria:

  • Owner lives in Colorado
  • Business is located in Boulder County
  • Business has been in operation for a minimum of two years
  • Owner manages and/or works day-to-day operations and makes long-term decisions
  • Business pays utility bill
  • Total operating square footage is 2,500 square feet or less
  • Existing equipment was manufactured in 2009 or earlier
  • New equipment must be powered by electricity (not natural gas) to be eligible for grant. Conversion of natural gas-powered equipment to electric equipment can qualify. However, costs associated with electrical work will not be covered in grant.
  • Old equipment must be removed and properly disposed of by the disposal service provider. As part of the grant, this equipment will no longer be operated or owned by the business or any other entity.

Minority-owned businesses are highly encouraged to apply. If you do not meet all the above criteria and would like to be considered, please fill out and submit the interest form and include detailed information in the exception request section.

Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis while funding is available. Apply below!

Additional Limits and Requirements:

  • Grant funding from PACE is capped at $20,000 per business annually.
  • The total of all incentives (PACE Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant, Financial Hardship Lighting Grant, utility rebates, etc.) cannot exceed 70% of total equipment costs unless authorized by PACE.
  • This grant cannot be combined with PACE rebates.
  • As part of the grant application process, you will need to complete a beneficiary agreement. Your PACE advisor will support you through this process.

What happens next?

  1. Eligibility: A PACE advisor will reach out to you to verify that your existing equipment meets the eligibility requirements.
  2. Assessment: Your PACE advisor will meet you onsite to look at equipment and discuss replacement options.
  3. Quote: Your PACE advisor will provide an equipment quote detailing the amount covered by the grant and the cost you would be responsible for.
  4. Agreement: If you would like to move forward with replacing equipment, your PACE advisor will help you fill out and submit the agreement on DocuSign.
  5. Funds Awarded: PACE will review your submitted agreement and confirm that funding is available. You will receive an email notifying you that you have been awarded the funds.
  6. Payment: Once you’ve been awarded a grant, you will have 30 days from the award date to pay for your portion of the invoice; payment instructions are located on the invoice. If you need more time, please inform your PACE advisor. The equipment order will be placed when your payment is received.  PACE’s grant, the remaining portion of the project costs, will go directly to the equipment provider/contractor on completion of the work.
  7. Delivery and Installation: An equipment provider/contractor will contact you to schedule the delivery and installation of your new equipment as well as the removal and proper disposal of your old equipment.
  8. Ownership & Maintenance: Once equipment has been installed, you own the new equipment and are responsible for ongoing maintenance.
  9. Follow Up: Your PACE advisor will follow up with you to see how the equipment is better serving you and your business.