Refrigeration & Restaurant Equipment Grant

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 per square foot 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. The grant also supports the replacement of gas-powered cooking equipment with electric alternatives.

There are substantial benefits to upgrading equipment, including:

  • Lower energy bills
  • More reliable equipment
  • Less maintenance
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Improved workplace comfort
  • Improved food safety
  • Reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

Through the Refrigeration and Restaurant Equipment Grant, PACE removes barriers to provide your business with the benefits of new, efficient equipment while helping your business and the community reach their sustainability goals.

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

Grant Details

PACE has partnered with Artzer Restaurant Equipment, a local vendor, to provide eligible participants with ENERGY STAR-certified refrigeration and restaurant equipment. The grant covers 80% of the upfront cost of new equipment (before tax). The participant pays 20% of the cost of equipment and 100% of the sales tax on the transaction. 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.

Eligible Equipment

The following equipment types are included in the grant:

  • Refrigerator units with doors
  • Freezer units with doors
  • Merchandiser refrigerators and freezers
  • Food preparation tables
  • Dishwashers
  • Ice machines
  • Other ENERGY STAR-certified refrigeration and cooking equipment

The PACE grant can also be used to replace natural gas-powered equipment like griddles and ovens with electric-powered alternatives. Natural gas-powered equipment will not be funded. Costs associated with electrical work will not be covered in the grant, but businesses can apply for PACE’s Electric Infrastructure Upgrade rebate.

If you have equipment that falls outside the above categories and you would like your project to be considered for the grant, please fill out the interest form and include a note in the exception field.

As part of the grant, the old equipment will no longer be operated or owned by the business or any other entity. This equipment must be removed and properly disposed of by the program’s distributor.

Grant Requirements

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
  • 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!

Next Steps

  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 decide to replace the equipment, your PACE advisor will help you complete the funding agreement.
  5. Equipment Ordered: After reviewing your submitted agreement, PACE will reserve funding for the project. Artzer, the distributor for this program, will order the equipment.
  6. Delivery, Installation, and Payment: Artzer 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. You will pay your portion of the new equipment to Artzer upon delivery, and PACE will pay Artzer directly for the grant portion.
  7. Ownership & Maintenance: Once the equipment has been installed, you own the new equipment and are responsible for ongoing maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Yes! Please apply for the grant even if you do not meet every one of the requirements. PACE will work with you to make an exception or complete a custom project if possible. Please include as much information as you can in the grant application form and PACE will be in touch with you to learn more.  

Electric utilities serving most of Boulder County–including Xcel Energy, Platte River Power Authority, and Tri-State–all have commitments to reduce their emissions by 80% by 2030. Additionally, the City of Boulder, the City of Longmont, and the Town of Nederland all have goals of providing 100% renewable power by 2030.  

Continuously cleaning up the electricity grid means that transitioning gas-powered equipment–like griddles, stoves, and ovens–to electric equipment will continue to result in fewer and fewer emissions over time. 

Electric equipment also provides other benefits, including: 

  • Increased safety and comfort 
  • Improved precision for cooking 
  • Faster cooking times 
  • Reduced maintenance  

PACE’s partnership with Artzer Restaurant Equipment offers a wide range of new, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment to small businesses. However, if your business needs a style or brand of equipment that cannot be provided by Artzer, PACE offers businesses the option to source equipment from a distributor of their choice and receive a retroactive reimbursement for PACE’s portion of the equipment. This process requires pre-approval by PACE before equipment is ordered. Please complete the grant application and discuss your business’s specific needs with your PACE advisor.  

Additional limits and requirements include: 

  • Grant funding from PACE is capped at $20,000 per business annually. 
  • The total of all incentives (PACE Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant, utility rebates, etc.) cannot exceed 80% 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. 

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us at 303-786-7223 or