Many growers need a year round greenhouse but struggle to finance the full project upfront. Below are several financing options, including both loans and grants. Options depend on what of grower you are — whether a commercial greenhouse grower, school greenhouse grower, or part of a non-profit organization. At this time, we do not have financing options for residential greenhouses. (If you know about a resource not listed here, please let us know.)
- Commercial Greenhouse Options
- School Greenhouse Options
- Resources for Non-Profit Organizations
Commercial Greenhouse Growers
For: New commercial greenhouses
New greenhouses can be financed with business loans, similar to other types of businesses. In fact, certain types of greenhouses (metal structures) are often considered equipment and easier to finance. If interested in financing your commercial greenhouse, please contact us. We evaluate your project and connect you with a lender that is right for you.
National Grants for Commercial Greenhouses
For: Existing commercial greenhouse growers who want to make energy-efficiency improvements. New commercial greenhouses who want to add a renewable energy system.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has a program called Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants. The program helps farmers save energy in their operation by financing upgrades, including greenhouses. The money can be used to upgrade an existing structure, or add a renewable energy system to an existing greenhouse. For example, by adding insulation to the North side you can make an energy-efficient commercial greenhouse more efficient, following passive solar greenhouse design. Alternatively, the money can be used to add an energy-efficient or renewable energy system, such as adding a solar panels to help power the building, or a Ground to Air Heat Transfer (GAHT) system to heat and cool the building year-round. The money cannot be used for building a new structure. More information available on the REAP program website.
National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) EQIP Grants
For: Existing commercial greenhouse growers who want to make energy-efficiency improvements
Similar to the REAP program, EQUIP On-Farm Energy Initiative helps farmers to save energy with equipment upgrades. Greenhouse improvements – such as adding insulation, using passive solar greenhouse design, or installing more efficient heating / cooling systems – are eligible for funding (if your farm meets the requirements). The program has two parts. First, it provides an energy audit. Once the audit is complete and on file with the NRCS, the program funds much of the recommendations in the audit. Most commercial greenhouse growers receive 75% of projects cost. More information on the EQUIP website.
SARE Research Grants
For: commercial greenhouse growers, non-profits, schools, and individuals that want to conduct a research project relating to sustainable greenhouse growing
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) is government-funded organization that administers grants for education and research relating to sustainable agriculture. This spans a huge range of sectors, from permaculture to animal production. They also fund research related to season extension, including growing in a year round greenhouse. Grants are available to all types of growers –commercial greenhouse growers, non-profit and research organizations, professionals, students, schools and individuals.
Past greenhouse-related grants include installing a compost-heat recovery system, or a energy-efficient heat exchanger similar to a GAHT system. A key ingredient of all SARE grants is research: the project must research something related to sustainable agriculture and document the results. More information on the SARE website.
State Grants for Commercial Greenhouses
In addition to federal grants, your state may have programs for growers. Please contact us if you know of a program in your state. The below is not a complete list.
In 2016 the Colorado Energy Office expanded their Agricultural Energy Efficiency program to include commercial greenhouses (non-profit greenhouses may also apply). Similar to national programs listed above, the program aims to help farmers save energy through energy-efficiency upgrades, or renewable energy systems. Specifically, the program provides a free energy audit of the greenhouse, and then acts as a hands-on consultant to help the grower initiate improvements and get funding to pay for the upgrades.
This program spans many agricultural sectors, including commercial greenhouse growers in Illinois. The program provides both technical assistance (free energy audits and recommendations) as well as financial assistance (cash incentives for making energy-efficiency improvements to an existing greenhouse).
School Greenhouse Programs
Several private companies offer grants to help fund school gardens. These are typically small grants, in range of $1,000 to $5,000, and aimed at starting an outdoor school garden. Most can apply to a year round school greenhouse. The organization Grants for Plants has a list of small private grants for school gardens and greenhouses here: grantsforplants.org/grants
Of course, larger foundations exist that provide larger grants, but these may not apply to all schools. For example, the Edward E Ford Foundation provides funding for private and independent schools, for a range of projects, often including greenhouses.
Individual states also often have incentives for schools to become more energy-efficient, which can extend to upgrading or financing a new school greenhouse. The Colorado Energy Office, for example, provides energy audits and assistance with funding energy-efficiency improvements. Though they may be the ultimate source of funding, they can help a school procure funding through other sources.
Many schools ultimately provide some of their own funding for a school greenhouse. You can read more about our tips for designing a school greenhouse on our blog.
Resources for Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit and community organizations can take advantage of some of the resources above. By incorporating a research component into the greenhouse, they can apply for SARE grants. The Colorado Energy Office Agricultural Efficiency program also applies.
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Based on passive solar design principles including insulated walls and highly efficient heating and cooling systems. Ceres’ commercial greenhouses create an improved growing environment with stable temperatures at the lowest energy costs in the industry. The result is a sustainable, easily controlled, naturally abundant growing environment.
Ceres Proven Performance
Heating and cooling is the second largest operating expense in commercial greenhouses behind labor. Ceres energy-efficient design and self-heating systems can help you save money and increase profits year over year. Independent analysis have shown energy savings of 50% or more compared to traditional greenhouses with a single layer of glazing.
- In this example, an energy analysis shows that a 5,000 sq. ft. greenhouse would save over $1,345,000 in 10 years.
- The investment in an energy-efficient Ceres greenhouse pays off in just 3 years.
HighYield™ Commercial Greenhouse Kits
We pride ourselves in creating the most energy-efficient commercial greenhouse kits on the market. HighYield™ Kits come in two depths: 23’ and 30’ deep and are scalable in increments of 4’.
We ship all greenhouse materials to the job site and the greenhouse is erected by a local contractor. Ceres provides turn-key construction in the US and Canada. We also provide construction management and project planning, organizing and project facilitation from start to finish. We can facilitate the entire construction process for you in most international locations. More on our greenhouse installation and construction management services.
Custom commercial greenhouses are designed for spaces over 3,000 sq. ft.. Dimensions are customized to suit the site and operational layout. Our custom commercial builds are constructed with steel framing, the strongest and longest-lasting framing material. Framing can span up to 80′ (depending on snow loads), allowing greater flexibility with layout options. Custom projects have longer design times and slightly higher build costs than our kit options. Pricing starts at $35 per square foot.
Commercial greenhouses all over the world
From the US to Australia, we have designed and built projects all over the globe. Employing international designers and using regional-specific manufacturing, we are devoted to using the highest quality materials in the most efficient way possible in order to keep your operating costs low.
Finance Your Greenhouse
Looking for financial help?
We can help you find funding for your greenhouse project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our commercial energy-efficient greenhouses are designed with either light or heavy gauge steel framing depending on the desired structure, with a galvanized or painted finish. We combine the frame with insulated metal panels, commonly used in warehouses or large industrial buildings, because of their high insulation values and ease of install.
Our standard glazing is a tri-wall, 16mm poly-carbonate. In colder climates, the triple wall poly-carbonate allows more heat retention while still allowing in more than enough sunlight. Glazing materials can be customized to suit your climate conditions and growing goals.
Learn more about our structural materials
Our typical greenhouse design is either an offset gable or shed-style roof. We can also employ alternate building styles such as gutter-connected bays of the greenhouse. In any scenario, we work with you to create a custom structure that meets your needs, site and budget.
Yes, we provide installation services anywhere in the US, Canada and EU, using qualified local crews and Ceres certified Construction Managers to oversee the process. Please contact us for a custom quote including installation.