Learn About the CHEF Incentive Program from CenterPoint Energy

Your Restaurant Could Save Energy and Money

Are you a Houston-area restaurant owner interested in saving energy and operating your kitchen more efficiently and sustainably? The Commercial High-Efficiency Foodservice (CHEF) Program from CenterPoint Energy helps local restaurants offset the cost of energy efficiency upgrades up to $2,600 and provides free educational resources.

CHEF connects eligible businesses with participating kitchen equipment distributors to offer incentives for qualified ENERGY STAR® rated appliances. Whether you are an independent or chain restaurant, mom-and-pop, cafeteria, ghost kitchen or other type of commercial foodservice operation, there are incentives that may help reduce energy costs, add efficiency and can increase production quality.

Why should you consider upgrading your kitchen equipment?

The short answer is that it can help save money, save energy and make your business more sustainable. Since the CHEF program launched in 2021, we’ve helped Houston-area commercial foodservice facilities reduce their energy consumption by 3.2M kilowatt hours (kWh) to date and counting. We have replaced and added almost 1,000 efficient units of equipment to the Houston market, with lifetime energy savings that will have a lasting impact. Savings in individual restaurants can range from 1,000 kWh to 67,895 kWh or more annually when upgrading to ENERGY STAR efficient kitchen equipment and hood controls.

Restaurant owners know firsthand how much energy is used by kitchen equipment. According to ENERGY STAR, commercial foodservices can use three to five times more energy per square foot compared to other commercial buildings, such as office buildings and retail stores. High-volume quick-service restaurants may even use up to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, meaning efficient foodservice equipment and good energy management practice are crucial to savings.

We understand that energy management can be outside the norm and not always the priority of a restaurant owner’s expertise. It is hard to put time aside, especially in today’s fast-paced environment with labor shortages, food and equipment price increases. Many small business owners will not have a lot of extra time and money for complex projects.

That’s where the CHEF Program comes in.

We take pride in offering white glove service to help eliminate energy efficiency participation barriers for restaurant owners. Our Houston-based staff can connect commercial foodservice facilities/owners with participating distributors who can offer an incentive for qualified ENERGY STAR-rated appliances.

Our trade allies work with us and receive cash incentives on a variety of projects that help improve their customer’s energy efficiency and minimize operating costs.

The CHEF program offers generous incentives on qualified ENERGY STAR commercial electric appliances for eligible facilities, including electric convection oven, combination oven, commercial dishwasher, steam cooker, fryers and more. For a full list of qualifying incentives, visit, CenterPointEnergy.com/CHEF.

You can secure your incentives with these four easy steps:

Step 1: Select your qualifying ENERGY STAR-rated equipment from list with all equipment listed and CenterPoint will review and get back to you.

Step 2: Purchase and install equipment using a participating trade ally or dealer. A list of participating dealers can be found at CenterPointEnergy.com/CHEF.*

Step 3: Your trade ally or dealer will submit your incentive application and dated sales invoices on your behalf.**

Step 4: Qualified applicants may receive an incentive check or credit for their business from the trade ally or dealer you purchased from.

*If your selected dealer is not part of CenterPoint Energy’s trade ally participant list, contact us with your dealer’s information and we will reach out to them to see if they are willing to enroll to provide you incentives.

**Don’t forget: all incentive applications must be submitted by December 1 of the calendar year of installation to receive incentive reimbursement. 


  • Commercial customers must be located within the greater Houston region of CenterPoint’s electric service territory and receive an electric distribution from CenterPoint.
  • Commercial customers must have qualified equipment installed on a non-residential meter in CenterPoint’s electric service territory.
  • Equipment must meet program specification requirements. For qualified ENERGY STAR equipment, refer to com/CHEF.
  • Incentives apply to new and used qualifying equipment

Learn more about how the CHEF Program can help your restaurant by contacting CenterPoint’s CHEF program manager, Nora Luna at Nora.Luna@CenterPointEnergy.com to get started. We are here to help you save energy, resources and money – let’s talk!

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