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The owner of Auglaize Auto Body in Wapakoneta, Ohio says he stumbled across a grant being offered by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA). The grant was for $70K but what caught our eye was that it was approved to purchase one of our Accudraft Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths. That got us thinking, are there grants for body shops in other areas of the country and where should body shops look? Here is what we found.

How to Purchase a New Paint Booth with a Grant

Grantors Look for These Standards

Simply put, many of the standards required by grantors offering thousands of dollars to purchase a new paint booth are the same ones that help paint booth operators do a better job. Auglaize, currently known as Vintage Metal Werks wanted to invest in the type of equipment that would help improve “productivity, efficiency, and safety.”

The Clean Air Resource Center or CARC provided the funds which were approved by OAQDA in their quest to help clean up the air in Ohio. This type of investment is frequently approved for small businesses where certain upgrades will help control pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.

Auglaize chose an Accudraft paint booth because of the efficiencies it provides. Body shop owner Joe Patterson cited the high heat generation at 30% less energy use, plus the advanced technology used to recycle clean air inside and outside of these paint booths. In addition to the Accudraft Semi-Downdraft Paint Booth, the company purchased a prep station for additional pollution elimination.

Make a Strong Argument

Practically every state in the country has a similar organization like Ohio’s OAQDA. No matter the locality, getting approved for one of these competitive grants will require making a strong argument. Auglaize’s owners had to petition their case in front of the grant board by citing the energy efficiencies gained through the investment in a new Accudraft paint booth.

Different areas are going to have grants that emphasize different solutions to energy shortages and air pollution. The Clean Air Resource Center that is funding the $70K grant awards grant money based on:

The size of the business – this is specifically a small business grant.

Assists with clean air compliance – CARC makes it a point to note that it is an independent organization and not a part of the EPA of Ohio. Its sole goal is to help small businesses comply with Ohio’s EPA standards.

What a CARC Grant Does:

Finances the cost of equipment installation – there are many different industries that fit this category, as long as the equipment purchase will help to control and or prevent pollution.

Pays initial costs of investment – in addition to providing a tax break for an investment in a new paint booth, CARC pays up to 30% of the upfront costs for the purchase of a new paint booth.

Where to Look for a Grant to Purchase a New Paint Booth

We searched the most recent data from the EPA and DSIRE® to look specifically for grants that are available to paint booth operators. Keep in mind that most of these grant periods expired last year or earlier this year, meaning they are still waiting for new funding.

Some of these grants may or may not be funded this year, but they are worth checking back for to see if an open grant period has started. Also, remember that Auglaize just happened to stumble across a grant for the Ohio Air Quality Authority? There are agricultural grants for small businesses in rural areas but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a farm or farm-related business.

Here is a breakdown of available grant programs for paint booth operators nationally and by state. Check this link or search the grant name to be alerted when new funding is available for expired grants.

National Grants

  • Multipurpose Grants to States and Tribes
  • Pollution Prevention Grant Program
  • Tribal Energy Program Grant
  • USDA – High Energy Cost Grant Program
  • USDA – Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program

State-Based Grants


  • Renewable Energy Grant Program


  • School Facility Program – Modernization Grants
  • Pacific Power – Blue Sky Community Project Funds


  • City of Tallahassee Utilities – Grant Programs


  • Grants to Green Program


  • Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grants
  • Public Sector Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program
  • City of Chicago – Small Business Improvement Fund
  • Retro-Commissioning (RCx) Program


  • NIPSCO Small Business Direct Install Electric and Natural Gas Program


  • Green Communities Grant Program
  • Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy Program


  • Maryland Clean Energy Communities Grant Program
  • Game Changer Competitive Grant Program
  • Maryland Smart Energy Communities Grant


  • Michigan Accelerating Technologies (MATch) Energy Grant
  • Energy Efficiency Grants


  • Lake Region Electric Cooperative – Agriculture and Commercial Energy Efficiency Grant Program
  • Otter Tail Power Company – Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Grant Program
  • Dakota Electric Association – Commercial and Industrial Custom Energy Grant Program


  • NorthWestern Energy – Custom Business Efficiency Program

New Jersey

  • PSE&G – Government and Non-Profit Facility Direct Install Efficiency Program

New York

  • EmPower New York
  • NY-Sun Commercial and Industrial Incentive Program
  • REVitalize- NYSERDA


  • Pacific Power – Blue Sky Community Project Funds
  • Custom Renewable Energy Projects


  • Alternative and Clean Energy Program
  • West Penn Power SEF Grant Program
  • Small Business Advantage Grant Program
  • Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Grants (FirstEnergy Territory)
  • High Performance Building Incentives Program
  • Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Grant Program (FirstEnergy Territory)


  • Energy Efficient Schools Initiative – Grants


  • Puget Sound Energy – Resource Conservation Manager Program
  • Pacific Power – Blue Sky Community Project Funds
  • Puget Sound Energy – Energy Efficiency Custom Retrofit Grant Program


  • Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program


  • Small Business Non-Profit Energy Audit Program
  • Local Government Energy Audit/Retrofits