How Businesses are Leveraging Demand Response to Help Create Energy Resilient Communities, and how Walgreens is Paving the Way.

Since its inception, the U.S. electrical grid has mostly relied on a one-way transmission of electricity from centralized generation facilities, through a system of power lines and substations, to delivery for use in homes and buildings. As grid modernization efforts focus on improving and firming up operations, energy consumers are increasingly incentivized to take advantage of new, smart energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) technology to engage in automated, bi-directional communication with the grid.

Demand response has been around for decades, but programs have primarily targeted large buildings, public infrastructure, and industrial complexes with high energy demand. However, new technologies are now enabling harder-to-reach small and medium building types to participate and finally take part in EE and DR energy savings and incentives. While load reduction at a medium-size retailer may not be comparable to that of a manufacturing plant, many smaller buildings aggregated together within a load zone or across a utility territory can provide meaningful, flexible capacity – driving grid resiliency for operators and customers. There is a massive opportunity to apply these solutions for over 30 million commercial buildings under 200K sq. ft. across the country.

Businesses are becoming increasingly pressured to adopt sustainable practices and report on carbon reductions, but on top of these progressing social and corporate norms, EE and DR technologies benefit commercial energy consumers economically. Climate change, the transition to renewables, and building and transportation electrification trends are causing significant disruptions impacting energy reliability and supply costs. Grid-interactive technologies enable automated control of energy consumption and the capability to respond to grid signals in real-time, reduce energy costs, avoid peak demand charges, contribute to energy reliability, and helps to build more energy resilient communities.

California’s grid emergency in 2020 demonstrates how urgent the problem is and how impactful demand response can be. From August 14 – 21, 2020, California experienced Stage 3 emergency conditions as extreme heat paired with other unforeseen circumstances left the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) with forecasted daily capacity shortages up to 4,400 MW. The deficit resulted in rolling blackouts Friday through Sunday across the state. By Monday, through a combination of dispatching existing demand response (DR) capacity and enabling automated voluntary end-user conservation efforts, there was a significant reduction in demand which prevented further blackouts.

As an early adopter of commercial DR programs, Walgreens leveraged GridPoint’s technology to immediately and voluntarily curtail load across impacted California locations throughout the emergency. Because they already had a DR strategy and program in place, Walgreens was able to make a difference in their community while reducing costs at the same time. Watch this video to learn how Walgreens and GridPoint are helping create the blueprint for how commercial businesses will interact with utilities and the grid going forward.

Programs like these are essential to modernizing the grid. Like the one in California, Grid emergencies will continue to occur as the U.S. transitions to a more decarbonized grid. While utility and consumer investments tend to focus on renewables, there are clear impacts to existing energy distribution infrastructure as new distributed energy resources (DER) are deployed at scale. Automated demand response will play a pivotal role in the energy transition by acting as the bridge between traditional carbon-intensive generation assets and new clean energy technologies to provide the reliability needed by the dynamic, DER-driven grid of the 21st Century. GridPoint focuses on the millions of commercial businesses occupying small and medium buildings that are not currently participating in demand response. As utilities launch programs and solutions for the underserved small and medium commercial market, more businesses, like Walgreens, will be incentivized to become grid-interactive utilizing energy efficiency and demand response technology. At scale, this means more energy resilient communities that contribute to a more sustainable future and a cleaner, more reliable energy grid.

Mythbusters: Demand Response

Are Demand Response Programs Really Worth it?


Demand Response (DR) programs, while not new, are now gaining in popularity due to their value as an impactful measure to support grid stability. Traditionally, DR has been highly manual and most prevalent in industrial and manufacturing sectors. However, now that Automated DR (ADR) technology is available, the commercial sector can easily participate and earn new revenue streams while supporting their local grid and utility programs. Read more on how DR works here.


GridPoint has deployed ADR technology across thousands of commercial customers nationwide through its smart buildings platform, and as an aggregator, GridPoint provides DR program management for many of them. GridPoint’s platform enables buildings to act as grid-interactive resources and can be integrated with other distributed energy resources, like solar or storage, to combine benefits of these distributed technologies, create greater value, and help decarbonize and stabilize the grid. Because demand response has evolved so quickly through ADR technology, we often find customers that could benefit the most from DR participation are unwilling to participate due to previous or outdated misconceptions. Here are a few myths we’ve come across and the truth to set the record straight:



Myth 1: My building will be uncomfortable during a DR event

GridPoint works with customers to develop strategies that fit their specific needs. During DR events, which could last between 15 minutes and four hours, zone temperatures could be increased to achieve energy reduction during the event. However, the extent to which temperature is raised follows a pre-set limit decided by the customer. On average, a zone temperature is increased by 1.8 degrees for 1.8 hours. GridPoint ensures that zone temperatures remain at or below customer-specified limits in three ways:

  1. GridPoint pre-cools your location. For 90-120 minutes prior to an event, zone temperatures are reduced by 2-4 degrees depending upon customer specification and building condition requirements. Throughout the event, the store is permitted to ‘drift’ up to setpoint temperature. By pre-cooling, the store remains comfortable while conserving energy.
  2. GridPoint’s DR team works with each individual customer to develop curtailment strategies which provide both comfort to store occupants and reduces energy consumption. The set points can be as small as a 1-degree Fahrenheit difference in zone temp, or as large as 4-degree Fahrenheit difference depending on customer specification.
  3. Curtailment strategy is highly customizable based on site-specific requirements. Specific zones can be entirely left out of demand response events if necessary.



Myth 2: I’m locked in for the whole demand response season and can’t make changes to my site.

Customers gain more control when they participate in an event when they work with aggregators.  GridPoint’s demand response programs permit customers to change level of participation, strategy for participation, and choice to participate at any time during demand response season if necessary. The only exception to this is during a demand response event. During an event, curtailment strategies in effect are generally unable to be changed; however, any other time, customers can modify participation levels – although in GridPoint’s experience, the desire to modify participation rates and curtailment strategies is rare.


While some DR programs require nomination across an entire season, many programs enable customers to enroll on a monthly basis, allowing adequate time for a site to experience DR and opt out the next month if participation results are not a good fit. These programs are a great way to “test” how demand response participation may or may not impact your site.



Myth 3: Potential DR revenue is not worth the time & effort required to participate.

Bundling ADR technology rebates and demand response participation payments provide a strong incentive (think thousands of dollars per site) with very little effort for small to medium business customers.


One GridPoint customer earned an additional $50,000 through demand response rebates and incentives alone in 2019. GridPoint provides a turnkey, fully automated, demand response program for customers. Aside from signing enrollment paperwork, there is very little customers need to do to participate. GridPoint’s demand response team manages all aspects of DR enrollment and participation. Through the GridPoint smart building platform, DR can provide a passive revenue stream for customers willing to change zone temperatures by as little as one degree for one hour.


GridPoint is focused on saving you energy and money so you can focus on what matters: your business. Demand response is a way to unlock additional revenue for your business with minimal impact to your business operations. Please contact us to learn more about whether your sites qualify for demand response programs.

Supporting Resource Adequacy through Demand Response

Supporting Resource Adequacy Through Automated Demand Response

How Lessons Learned from the California Grid Crises can be Adapted Nationwide


Resource Adequacy (RA), the conditions in which grid operators have enough capacity to meet forecasted demand on the grid, is a hot topic among utilities and regulators following the August 2020 grid emergencies in California. Throughout the crises, Demand Response (DR), in particular Automated Demand Response (ADR), played a critical role in restoring balance and will continue to drive policy and infrastructure through the clean grid transition.

GridPoint provides a deeper dive into what happened during the crisis and the role DR played in a recent white paper here. So how can lessons learned from those events in California prepare us for similar crises nationwide?

What’s clear is the need for on-demand flexible capacity to ensure resource adequacy during these increasing emergencies. Demand Response was successful in California, and when scaled and automated, the technology can provide flexible capacity on-demand when it is needed most.


The Value of Automated Demand Response Technology at Scale

Demand response is not a new concept, but it has never been tested the way it was in California in August. According to analysts at Wood Mackenzie, California has 1.5 GW of program-enrolled demand response potential. This includes mostly manual demand response: direct load control, switches, and other basic forms of load shedding strategies. Although 1.5 GW of DR would have met and surpassed the need for 400 MW of load to avert blackouts on August 14 and 15th, not all this DR potential was available.   Low response rates have been attributed to official DR program rules which limit required response to advance notification windows and to specific price signals, as well as location or congestion constraints.

Despite low response rates, what we did see during the crisis was a 470 MW load shed attributed to demand response. Where did it come from? Two places: through voluntary automated demand response and flex alerts.

Flex alerts, which are a request for consumers to reduce electricity consumption, yielded 4 GW of capacity during the crisis week proving that many small sites (in this case mostly residences) when aggregated, can provide reliable capacity in near real-time.

The second, and more scalable, measurable, and dependable source of additional capacity, came from voluntary automated demand response, such as what GridPoint deployed by leveraging customer sites. Operating voluntarily (without compensation) outside of official DR program rules, GridPoint, was able to dispatch curtailment across thousands of sites with OADR infrastructure within minutes of learning of CAISOs capacity shortage. Throughout the crises, a subsection of GridPoint’s fleet of customer sites voluntarily participated in predetermined load shed strategies. These strategies permitted normal business operations to continue for GridPoint customers, many of which are considered essential services, while collectively adding MWs of capacity to the grid. Like the flex alerts, what this proves is that many small sites are collectively as impactful as one or several industrial sites providing DR.


Scaling ADR Infrastructure through a Value Stacked Service

ADR infrastructure must be widely installed now to prevent capacity shortages in the future. There are thousands of untapped, small to medium buildings with the potential to provide reliable capacity. However, with cost as a barrier, the key to getting ADR technology into facilities is to deliver the solution in a way that offsets the cost through the benefits of energy efficiency and demand management.

GridPoint provides automated demand response technology as part of its smart building platform through an Energy Management as-a-Service (EMaaS) model. The EMaaS model eliminates upfront costs and provides both energy efficiency and demand response capabilities.  The platform is expandable enabling future adoption and management of other DERs. The monthly cost of the solution is often less than the energy cost savings customers benefit from - removing that key cost barrier to customer adoption.

In addition, many utilities offer rebate incentives for OADR technology. Stacking values of these ADR rebates, reduced energy costs, and demand response revenue while delivering the platform though an EMaaS model is what accelerates ADR technology adoption.

Stakes are high for utilities in comparison to other markets as disruptions to the electric grid have severe, real-time consequences for end-users - especially during a pandemic. Through demand response readiness, ADR technology providers working in tandem with utilities can dramatically increase resource adequacy and on-demand flexibility. As we move towards a more modern grid - one with more intermittent generation, fewer traditional generation sources, and an increasingly stressful climate - it is crucial that an infrastructure for fast, measured, reliable capacity is in place.

For strategies on how to implement OADR technology, or for more information about GridPoint’s ADR and EMS platform, please contact us at

Indoor Air Quality

Managing Indoor Air Quality During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been a hot topic of discussion lately as commercial businesses are tasked to balance health with business continuity for the foreseeable future.  With cooler months rolling in and less opportunity to utilize outdoor space, taking precautions to keep indoor air fresh for employees and customers will be paramount to navigating through the winter. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning) has published the following guidelines to help business owners ensure their facilities are as safe as possible and minimize risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus:


ASHRAE Suggestions for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality

  • 2-hour air purge after space becomes unoccupied and before space becomes occupied
  • Disable DCV (Demand Control Ventilation)
  • Maintain indoor relative humidity between 40-60%
  • Open outside air dampers to maximum position while maintaining comfort
  • Upgrade filters to MERV-13 (or higher)
  • VAV systems: increase discharge air temperature to max to encourage VAV terminal unit dampers to open

Smart buildings can respond to unusual events or pandemics, like COVID-19, by leveraging technology to adapt facilities to these optimal conditions. Here are ways GridPoint’s technology can support air quality and ensure your buildings are following ASHRAE’s IAQ recommendations:

  • Air Circulation: GridPoint systems support multi-period advance scheduling that can run fans in ON mode with systems in OFF mode.
  • Humidity Management: It’s common practice to increase indoor humidity levels to reduce airborne viruses, but higher humidity can result in mold and other undesired outcomes.  GridPoint systems use humidity control algorithms that runs additional cooling to dehumidify the site and maintain comfortable yet safe indoor humidity.
  • Filter Recommendations: In accordance with ASHRAE standards, GridPoint recommends MERV-13+ air filters and suggest that filter replacement happens on a regular schedule.
  • UV-C Air Purification: GridPoint is currently working on a solution to add a 24-volt UV lamp in HVAC duct to purify the indoor air.


How Can You Manage Your IAQ on a Limited Budget?

If your business doesn’t have smart building technology, GridPoint offers service-based solutions, with no up-front costs, that can provide peace of mind during chaotic times like these. With health on the line, here are a few actions that can be taken immediately to minimize risk:

  • Create a schedule for changing your air filters (MERVE 13+ are great options)
  • Designate a team member to adjust the thermostat fans to ON as needed to ensure air circulation happens regularly
  • Invest in a device to measure relative humidity to ensure indoor levels are between 40-60%
  • Change minimum outdoor air damper settings on HVAC equipment to maximum position
  • Eliminate sources that can release contaminants in the space. According to the EPA this is the most cost-effective measure so double-checking for mold, asbestos, or emissions from equipment like gas stoves could be helpful.

Our team at GridPoint is here to help businesses adjust operations for the “new” normal of today and whatever that may be in the future.  Contact us today for more information:

Preventing Blackouts in California:
What your Business can do to Support the Grid


California has been in a state of emergency since Friday, August 14th, but this time not because of COVID-19. Rolling electricity blackouts are occurring across California and the grid crisis is anticipated to continue through Thursday, August 20th as extreme temperatures and high-risk fire conditions persist across the state. The increase in cooling loads is driving demand (associated with cooling load) high, and at a time where reserve margins are low. This emergency threatens essential workers and other vulnerable populations.  What does this mean? It means more electricity is needed on the grid – and there are actions businesses can take right now in further preventing blackouts in California.

SCE Power Outage Map 
PG&E Power Outage Map


What you can do to help stop blackouts today

Smart energy management strategies, such as implementing automated demand response technology, enables buildings to use less energy, and respond to immediate needs of the grid.

During these unprecedented times of stress on the California energy grid, here are a few additional steps you can take, even if you are not a GridPoint customer, to help reduce electricity demand between 3pm-10pm each day:

  • Turn off all non-essential lighting
  • Set your thermostat(s) to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Defer use of major appliances
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use
  • Refrain from charging cars during peak hours
  • Close blinds and drapes to keep rooms cool
  • Use fans when possible
  • Limit time the refrigerator doors are open

Additionally, CAISO has lifted its restrictions on back-up generation usage during DR events [Order 2]. Back-up onsite generators and storage can and should be used to provide capacity to the grid. If you are a GridPoint customer with one of these asset types, please contact us for load curtailment and automated demand reduction integration options.


GridPoint’s contribution to CASIO emergency preparedness for blackouts

GridPoint has designed its smart buildings platform to respond to the dynamic needs of the energy grid in real-time. This past weekend, GridPoint’s distributed fleet of flexible capacity assets responded on-demand to CAISO’s emergency call to curtail all non-essential loads.

GridPoint deployed several MWs in less than 20 minutes on Saturday 8/15/20, supplying reliable capacity to the California grid.

For more information on how you can support California right now and prevent further blackouts, or if you are not yet enrolled in demand response programs, please contact us at




My Internship with GridPoint During the COVID-19 Pandemic


The coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape for almost every business in the United States and most of the world. It seems like overnight everything transitioned to the “new normal” of remote work, social distancing, and face masks - and my internship at GridPoint was no exception. Up until now every job or internship that I’ve had has been in person, luckily GridPoint already had many remote employees helping to make the transition easier. Just like many other working professionals, the new normal for me would include Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meets.  This virtual experience would be a big part of this summer and I knew it would be an adjustment from previous professional experiences.

My time with GridPoint was spent working with their sales team and it was broken up into four sections, spending two weeks with each team within the department. The goal was to learn about each sales function and get a broad experience in generating leads, nurturing customer relationships, managing channel and partner opportunities, and marketing strategies for brand awareness and thought leadership.

The first stop was with GridPoint’s Customer Success team, the group responsible for maintaining customer relationships once they are brought into the GridPoint portfolio. The team walked me through their processes and metrics which made it easy to understand how they communicated with and provided value for each account. I began to better understand the type of customers GridPoint interacts with and all the hard work that goes into crafting the best solution to fit their needs. Working with the Customer Success team granted me an appreciation for the ongoing internal effort to drive long-term customer success. I was able to attend a few customer meetings and observed the team’s use of data and controls to proactively help customers respond to the new norms of business during COVID-19. Beginning my internship with Customer Success helped me to really understand the customer base and I used this as the foundation of knowledge for the rest of my time with GridPoint.

After Customer Success, I transitioned over to the Lead Generation team. This is the team tasked with identifying and prospecting potential customers for GridPoint.  Finding new opportunities meant that I would have to do some vetting of prospects to make sure I was providing quality leads with the most value-potential.  Part of that quality comes from ensuring that those prospects will find value in GridPoint solutions in the first place. I was able to take what I learned with Customer Success and build upon it by gaining a greater understanding of the flexibility of GridPoint’s solution, and how it can benefit many different sectors in different ways. My greatest takeaway from those two weeks was seeing the power of raw data. Engaging with the team and observing how the data is used to build a business case was definitely a valuable insight for me.

Weeks five and six were spent with the Channel Sales team. Prior to this experience, I didn’t have a comprehensive picture of what channel sales really meant – it’s a broad term. But thanks to the team’s expertise I caught on quickly and found out the importance of GridPoint’s channel strategy. Channel partners can open doors to new markets that a direct sales team doesn’t have clear access to, which is key to scaling – especially in the dynamic energy technology market. I got to see everything from ongoing work being done with long-time partners, to new channel relationships just starting to form. A common theme among these partners was the synergy their technologies shared with GridPoint’s technology. I found a lot of value in seeing groups from different companies work together like they’ve been coworkers for years - through digital platforms, nonetheless. On top of observing those conversations, I was tasked with doing some competitive intelligence work. I really enjoyed this project because it showed me just how complex the energy management industry is and how many companies are involved. It also taught me the importance of understanding how competition can come from many different places and that if a company wants to survive it can never get too complacent.

My final two weeks were spent with the Marketing team. This was a great place to end because it enabled me to bring everything I’d learned full-circle to help relay the GridPoint message.  I was able to further my competitive intelligence analysis and I learned the importance of clear messaging as energy evolves and new competitors enter the space. The goal was to look more at how other companies sell and portray themselves in their branding, marketing collateral, websites, and other digital platforms. Attending various webinars hosted by thought leaders in the energy space helped me see firsthand how GridPoint was positioned in the market and its ability to pivot with trends in the energy technology sector. So much of the perception of a company is rooted in how they deliver their message and differentiate the brand. Another reason I liked ending with the Marketing team was because, through this very blog post, they gave me an opportunity to reflect on my time with the company and pull together everything I’ve learned.

I had a great time interning with GridPoint. The fact that it was entirely remote ended up being a much smaller issue than I anticipated. The company is already pretty spread out, so they were well equipped to help me adjust to the new format. I learned a lot during my time with GridPoint and I definitely stayed busy. All of the team members took my time seriously and allowed me to work on projects that not only provided the company value but also gave me experience that I know I can use in my future career. I’ve always told myself that I would never work in sales unless I really believed in what I was selling. I’m happy to say that I believe in GridPoint’s mission and I believe even more in the people that are carrying out that mission to achieve a more sustainable future.



Nick Wilms
Originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, Nick is a Junior at American University in Washington, DC, majoring in economics.





Reopening businesses post-COVID-19

5 Steps to Take When Reopening Businesses Post-COVID-19

We’re all ready for business to go back to normal, but opening sites that have been dark or in a take-out-only mode for two months isn’t as easy as hitting the “on” switch. Preparation and flexible technology are key to getting your sites back online safely, quickly, and efficiently post-COVID-19. Here are the top 5 things to think about when developing your re-opening strategy:

Adjust Schedules & Setpoints Geographically as Occupancy Restrictions are Lifted

Varied restrictions are being lifted by states leaving some sites closed while others are able to open. For an enterprise, this makes it difficult to simply power back on. GridPoint’s Energy Manager Platform makes site schedules or setpoint adjustments easy by using tags. This means you can bulk update a specific schedule or zone within a specific geography – for example, all customer dining zones at sites within Virginia. This feature is a game-changer for expediting re-opening strategies and will enable enterprises to continue saving at sites that are not yet able to fully re-open. In the event new restrictions are mandated in high-traffic geographies, this feature helps to transition those sites back off making your business more resilient.

Avoid New Peak Charges from Starting All Equipment at Once

Powering all equipment back on at the same time after being off for a period of time will cause an unnecessary spike in demand.  An intelligent HVAC startup schedule will help avoid this along with costly charges from your utility.  Instead of turning all HVAC units at once, units at a location should be staggered to distribute the initial power surge over time – flattening the demand spike. Other high consuming equipment should also be staggered to minimize the chance for new peaks as well.

Leverage Setpoints to Generate Savings

Summer is a great time to save on your utility bills by increasing efficiency, especially as restrictions will likely keep occupancy lower for a while.  We recommend an occupied cooling setpoint of 72 degrees F or higher and an unoccupied cooling setpoint of 80 degrees F or higher for the best balance of comfort and savings during summer months.

Check in on your HVAC Units

The spring months are when you should be preparing your HVAC units for the hotter summer months, so if you’ve delayed any needed preventative maintenance make sure you schedule that before your sites fully open. GridPoint’s remote mobile HVAC health tools can also help evaluate the status of your units and prioritize M&R. While we’re all focused on reopening quickly, ensuring that your HVAC units are in proper working order is important to avoid costly issues or unnecessary downtime in the future.

Enroll in Demand Response to Unlock New Revenue Streams

Demand Response (DR) is a great way to earn cash back from your utility and support local sustainability initiatives.  Adding a new revenue stream like this can help offset upsets to business continuity, like COVID-19, and your participation supports the transition to a more modernized, flexible grid. GridPoint makes participation simple, and if you already have a GridPoint platform installed in your facility it is pre-approved for various programs across the country. Learn more about how DR works, why it’s important, and how businesses can get involved here.

Leveraging Utility Rates to Unlock Maximum Savings & Revenue

Leveraging Utility Rates to Unlock Maximum Savings & Revenue

How Changes in Utility Rates can Impact Utility Program Participation

Participating in utility programs is a great way to drive additional value from your smart building platform. GridPoint’s technology is pre-qualified for many demand response and energy efficient rebate programs nationwide – this means you can use the system to unlock an ongoing stream of revenue on top of the monthly energy savings it provides. Not only does this add cash back to your organization’s bottom line, it supports local sustainability programs through your utility as well.

While enrollment is simple through GridPoint’s platform, it’s important to know that changes to your utility rates, or service provider in deregulated territories, may impact your results or eligibility. Proactive management of rates and programs can be incorporated into your GridPoint energy management strategy to ensure you can maximize savings and take full advantage of utility program offerings.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working through rate changes with your utility partners:

  • Demand Response programs and Energy Efficiency rebates usually require enrolling in and maintaining specific utility rates for a determined amount of time. Changing your rate may disqualify your site from participation in the future or impact your ability to realize full rebate potential.
  • Many utility programs do not permit “dual enrollment” or participation in more than one demand response program at a time. This can be confusing since some demand response programs are not called “demand response” but are more subtly labeled through a rate code. Changing rate or enrolling in an energy saving program through your utility, therefore, may impact your site’s ability to continue or begin participating in a demand response program. We are here to help you navigate programs and rates.
  • Some demand response programs are dependent upon the customer working with a specific Load Serving Entity (LSE), commonly known as an electricity supplier. As procurement contracts are renewed or are closed and changed to new LSEs, demand response and rebate program opportunities should be considered to help drive down total energy costs.

If any of these situations apply to you your organization or come up during your demand response enrollment, GridPoint is on hand to help determine the most advantageous rate and programs for you. In order to ensure that your business maximizes energy savings and program revenue, GridPoint will work closely with your energy procurement teams and maintain communication about rate changes and new program opportunities.

As your partner, GridPoint is here to help you save energy, money, and time. If you’re interested in discussing available programs or want to learn more about how rates can impact program success, reach out to us below.

Restaurant Resiliency During the COVID-19 Crisis

5 Things Every Restaurant Should be Doing Right Now

Customer and employee safety is paramount during these uncertain times and unfortunately for many in the service industry, this means reducing hours or even closing locations altogether. While we all navigate what impact COVID-19 will have on the economy, here are a few measures restaurants should be taking now to strengthen resiliency:

1. Immediately cut costs through energy reduction

Occupancy restrictions in place across the country are resulting in restaurants having to modify schedules or transition to take-out only.  Your energy strategy should reflect these changes so sites are not wasting energy (and dollars!). Respond quickly by following this checklist:

✓ Optimize set-points and fan settings based on these recommendations for your business situation:

✓ Update HVAC, interior and exterior lighting schedules to reflect updated business hours

✓ If your sites’ dehumidification units are not GridPoint controlled, we suggest increasing the humidity set point to 60%


2. Proactively disinfect and tighten food safety requirements

First, ensure your cleaning solution is EPA approved for use against the COVID-19 strain. The EPA has a comprehensive list here for reference. Next develop, communicate, and enforce new disinfecting procedures. Many restaurants have started requiring employees to switch gloves or wash hands after every transaction. What happens if someone in your location was diagnosed with COVID-19? Check out the CDC’s guidelines here.

While there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 by food, increased food safety measures should still be prioritized.   Enforce a 6 ft distance between kitchen employees, regularly disinfect surfaces, and continue to monitor refrigeration temperatures manually or in the GridPoint Energy Manager app.


3. Reduce equipment usage and unnecessary operational costs

Many restaurants have implemented modified menus.  Taking this action can help simplify your inventory and reduce the time equipment is being used to prepare food.  Keep unnecessary equipment off, remind employees to turn off equipment when not in use during the day, only run dishwashers when full, and limit truck rolls to emergency needs only. If you have an EMS system like GridPoint’s you may be able to remotely triage issues before calling for a technician. Talk to your partner about your options, they are here to help.


4. Reduce customer interaction

Person to person transmission is the most common way COVID-19 is spread. While enforcing a 6ft barrier between occupants is necessary, go a step further and eliminating unnecessary high-touch areas. Opt for cashless or touchless payment transactions, eliminate utensil or napkin bins, and promote curbside pickup to minimize customer-employee interactions.


5. Partner for delivery service

Partnering with delivery services can increase sales and reduce risk during these unprecedented times.  DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub are all popular options that have set up emergency programs to help struggling restaurants during the COVID19-crisis. Local delivery services may also be available.


Open communication with customers, employees, and partners is key to navigating this pandemic. Many partners, like GridPoint, are here around the clock to help restaurants through these difficult times. We’re all in this together. #restaurantrecovery

Fall Facility Checklist

Fall is quickly approaching, and as the weather changes it’s important to evaluate your facility and energy strategies in order to prepare your locations for winter. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your facilities stay safe and efficient during the colder months:


Change your filters

Dirty filters can increase energy costs and jeopardize equipment health.


“Fall back” on November 3rd

Your GridPoint system will automatically adjust your HVAC schedules during daylight savings time, but identify other areas at your facility that will need updating; clocks, outside lighting, etc.


Check equipment and run automated HVAC performance tests

Running GridPoint’s unique HVAC SCOPE report identifies HVAC units within or across sites that are malfunctioning and at what stage the issue is occurring. Preventative maintenance tools like these ensure your sites are running safely and efficiently during the critical winter months.


Clear leaves from rooftop equipment

Leaves can clog equipment and impair its efficiency.


Evaluate summer Demand Response performance

Evaluate performance from the DR season and identify improvement opportunities for next year.


Educate employees on your energy management system and goals

Remind employees why this program is important to your business, how they can be involved, and who to contact if there is an issue (GridPoint support at or 866-800-8906).


Watch for energy drift

Energy drift is the gradual loss of efficiency over time due to external factors. GridPoint’s energy analytics team compares site data year over year to identify where energy drift might be occurring and suggests actions that will help mitigate it. This puts efficiency back on track to ensure you are meeting your energy goals.


Start a preventative maintenance schedule using the HVAC health report card

GridPoint’s HVAC health report card prioritizes maintenance for you. It identifies which units require immediate attention, and predicts which units will likely need maintenance soon, then prioritizes them in order of severity. Proactively taking care of these issues eliminates the risk of a failure on a cold day.