Commercial Food Service Midstream Programs: Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors’ Key to Unlocking Savings for Commercial Kitchens

Energy efficiency program sponsors (EEPS), such as utilities and other ratepayer funded programs, seek to maximize program savings while minimizing administrative costs.  ENERGY STAR certified commercial food service (CFS) equipment has huge potential for saving energy but programs featuring these products have long faced high barriers to participation.  The market is highly diverse with myriad supply chain actors and numerous types of end-user customers, from restaurateurs to institutional kitchens. To overcome some of these challenges, EEPS have begun engaging “midstream” market actors – CFS dealers and distributors – in program design and delivery. Midstream programs allow EEPS to reach significantly more shoppers for new equipment by eliminating the need for them to understand complicated requirements for mail in rebate programs.  Results are impressive, with some program sponsors seeing CFS incentive uptake increase from just a few units to hundreds, and, in some cases, thousands compared to traditional prescriptive incentives.

In this guide, EEPS can learn why midstream programs have been so successful. You’ll also be able to review emerging best practices on program design, implementation, and evaluation based on the experiences of program sponsors and ENERGY STAR partners throughout the United States.

Next: How Midstream Works >

Midstream program (working definition): Programs focusing incentive dollars at dealers and distributors rather than directly to end users with the goals of reaching a wider audience, increasing program participation, streamlining program administration, and increasing access to ENERGY STAR certified and high efficiency equipment.