Reduce Heat Loss

The top strategies for saving energy while maintaining the best possible growing conditions in your greenhouse;

  • Reduce air leaks
  • Insulate the edges
  • Use thermal curtains
  • Install in-ground heating

Heating Systems that Lower Carbon Impact

Conventional heating systems in greenhouses use fossil fuels like propane and oil. Explore other options that can save money, have lower carbon impacts, improve operations, and often include a rebate;

  • Wood furnaces and boilers
  • Ground-source heat pumps (GSHP)
  • Air-source heat pumps
  • Hydronic heating under benches and below-ground

Lighting Optimization

Supplemental grow lights have become more popular over the years and they tend to be the largest electrical load in a greenhouse during the winter. If you are supplementing, consider LED lighting for energy savings and other growing benefits.

Controls that Automate and Monitor

Controls help you reduce operating costs by automating and recording technologies and conditions. Temperature, irrigation, lighting, humidity, CO2, and ventilation are important to control for consistent crop productivity and to balance extreme weather conditions.

Airflow and Humidity

Achieving and maintaining proper relative humidity (RH) levels is important for crop growth and health. Air flow is important to reduce negative impacts from pests, mold, mildew, and fungi. Follow these best practices for ventilation and dehumidification:

  • Vent naturally in warmer months when possible
  • Use exhaust/circulation fans designed specifically for agriculture use and heat recovery ventilators.

Irrigation Systems Optimization

Pumping systems that support greenhouse spaces can be optimized to use the smallest amount of energy.

  • Irrigation pumps should be appropriately sized for the system and for the amount of water used
  • Use variable frequency drives (VFDs) on pumps to save energy by adjusting the speed and flow to match the work being performed.

Consider the Power Needs of Your Greenhouse

If you switch from fossil fuel to electric power, consider what kind of power capacity you will need.

Contact your electric utility to review requirements, and stay in touch to learn about rate options, potential rebates, and programs that might help offset investment and operating costs. Electric utilities can provide support towards the electrification of your greenhouse.

Talk to your electrician about how much energy you are currently using and how much you plan to use. You may need an electrical panel upgrade (for home grow setups) or 3-phase power (for commercial facilities) to run certain equipment, which will be important to consider before purchasing new equipment. Your electric utility can help you determine whether a 3-phase line extension is cost-effective for you.