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Greenhouse heat curtains save energy costs

US (CA): PG&E awards Sun Valley Group $29K rebate for instal heat curtains

According to, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recently awarded the Sun Valley Group in Arcata a $29,000 energy rebate for the flower farm's latest installation of greenhouse heat curtains within the past year.

During the day, heat curtains in glass greenhouses are used to shade flowers and plants. At night, they're used to keep heat inside. Rudolph Visser, the purchase manager for Sun Valley Group, said the company has received rebates in previous years, and he thinks there aren't any similar heat curtains in the county because a lot of people don't warm up their greenhouses as much.

”They're pretty standard in the industry in Holland, where they grow a lot of flowers and where we buy the curtains from,” Visser said. “Their life expectancy is about eight to 10 years, and each year we replace about 150,000 square feet of the curtains. We pay 24 cents per square foot, plus the shipping, removal and installation of the material.”

PG&E has a number of energy efficiency rebate programs available for customers regarding such things as water heating and horizontal air flow fans. The program the Sun Valley Group participated in is called the Heat Curtain Measure. In 2012, PG&E paid greenhouse facility owners throughout most of central and northern California over $1 million in greenhouse energy efficiency rebates.

”The heat curtains help the county overall with energy efficiency,” PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said. “Installing them helps free up gas commodities for potential customers coming here. A PG&E account representative met with the Sun Valley Floral team, who applied for the rebate, and an evaluation took place where both parties determined that the most recent installation of curtains was a productive move for Sun Valley Floral.”

William Weigle, the greenhouse manager at Humboldt State University, said the curtains are known to reduce energy use by about 40 percent, adding that the county's climate allows local greenhouses to do a lot with natural heat.

”Most of the small growers around here don't really have heating in their greenhouses, and Sun Valley is one of the only places that has the kind of profit to have heat curtains,” Weigle said.

If you're interested in the energy efficiency incentives or energy management programs that are available, call PG&E's Commercial Business Center at 1-800-468-4743.


Publication date: 4/28/2014



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