Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens: Education and Rebate Program for Schools and Nonprofits
Did you know commercial kitchens are one of the highest energy users per square foot in the commercial sector? In addition, a new
report from the American Lung Association shows that indoor gas stoves can contribute to asthma and other lung conditions.
Commercial kitchens can be healthier places for Pennsylvanians and our environment. Get a taste of the benefits of kitchen electrification in CHECK: Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens, a new DEP program to help schools and nonprofits modernize their kitchens through energy efficiency and electrification.
How it works: Simply attend one of these free educational webinars, and then apply for a rebate on a variety of types of equipment to make your commercial kitchen a healthier and more environmentally friendly place.
CHECK Webinars: Fall 2022
Three free webinars are offered by Chef Chris Galarza of Forward Dining Solutions LLC. You'll learn about energy efficiency in commercial kitchens, as well as the basics of induction cooking, with some myths debunked. Your questions are welcome! Please register at the link.
Friday, December 9 | 10-11:30 am
Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens: K-12 Schools
This webinar is for K-12 schools and school districts. However, anyone who is interested can tune in.
Friday, November 18, 2022
Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens: Higher Education Institutions
This webinar was provided for higher education institutions.
Friday, October 21, 2022
Cooking in Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens: Nonprofits
This webinar was provided for nonprofits whose missions are geared toward health care or community services, such as soup kitchens, shelters, and food banks.
CHECK Rebates: Up to $5,000
Once you've participated in a webinar, you're eligible to apply for a rebate of up to $5,000 on a number of efficiency or electrification improvements to your commercial kitchen:
- Energy Star certified cooking equipment (combustion-free only)
- Induction cooking equipment
- Demand control kitchen ventilation system
- Electrical infrastructure upgrades to accommodate additional load
See rebate guidelines for further details.
See instructions for completing the online rebate application.
We're happy to answer any questions you have about the CHECK program. Please send an email to
RA-EP-CHECKProgram@pa.gov, and we'll respond.
Your commercial building may be a simple, small office building or a multi-story, mixed use structure with a myriad of building additions, upgrades and renovations over multiple decades. As you look at our site for assistance in managing your energy usage we suggest that smaller building operators look to our government and schools page for advice rather than here. There we have outlined a short step-by-step process for those who are newer to energy management. This page is designed to guide larger facility energy management decisions and processes.
Where to begin? First, we highly recommend the Building Operator Certification training on energy efficient building and operational maintenance practices. Additionally, for those facilities who have already instituted energy efficiency measures, Building Re-Tuning training is a systematic process to identify and correct building operation problems that lead to energy waste. Both of these programs outline the steps needed to better manage your building. Check our
Building Operator Training page for more information.
Where can I start now? Most energy managers have at least some idea where their biggest opportunities lie, but we strongly recommend a full review of all energy systems, starting with your
building envelope and
HVAC. Water leaks indicate an energy leak, interviews with staff or building occupants can uncover unexpected areas of failed insulation or
controls, and a simple walk-through with a light meter and infrared thermometer can uncover
over-lit spaces and failed equipment. An infrared camera can be worth the investment to clearly see the heat signatures of HVAC equipment and where you may have heat loss from windows and doors.
Looking for free tools? Two free, online tools can help you understand your overall energy portfolio and help you examine which of your systems are already efficient and which need attention. If you don’t already have a Building Automation System (BAS) that allows you to see all of your energy usage in one snapshot, we suggest benchmarking your building in
Energy Star Portfolio Manager (PM). This allows you to see where you compare to other buildings of the same type and your energy use intensity in BTU/sq. ft. Once you have that view, we suggest you rate your energy systems – referred to as energy assets – in the
Energy Asset Score tool. This tool examines your building systems and helps identify which ones need an upgrade soonest. Overall, if you have a good PM score but poor asset score, you likely have good operations of your poor assets and if you have a low PM score but high asset score, you likely need to focus on your operations. For a facility with middle level scores, this allows you to focus on what’s most cost effective to tackle first.
Do you have a parking lot? If you have a parking lot like many commercial buildings, consider looking at our
transportation page to see if you can assist your employees and tenants in reducing your environmental footprint.