If you’re looking to save on energy costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and build a more sustainable cannabusiness, you might be considering transitioning into a solar cannabis company. But while using renewable energy is ideal, solar energy isn’t necessarily feasible for every cannabusiness.
Making your cannabusiness more energy efficient comes with many benefits, from financial incentives to long-term sustainability. Upgrading to a solar energy system is one way to take advantage of those benefits.
For those who can’t afford to switch to solar energy or aren’t ready to do so, however, there are plenty of other ways to reduce both energy consumption and costs.
Here’s what you need to know about upgrading your cannabusiness to a solar cannabis company, how to improve your energy efficiency, and how to choose the best energy-saving option for your business.
Why Improve Your Cannabusiness’s Energy Efficiency?
Becoming an energy-efficient or solar cannabis company helps future-proof your cannabusiness by reducing costs and making your operations more stable and sustainable.
Energy costs are always trending up, and short of generating your own power, there’s nothing you can do about it. Xcel Energy Colorado, for instance, implemented at least five rate increases throughout 2022, with plans for more in 2023.
That’s why Sam Milton, principal owner of the energy and sustainability consulting firm Climate Resources Group, says solar energy is one of the best ways to control overhead and make your cannabusiness more sustainable, especially for cultivators.
“Solar is great for your carbon footprint,” Milton says. “and it lowers your utility costs. But the biggest thing is that it protects you from rising utility costs. You’re no longer beholden to rate increases.”
That said, while solar energy and energy efficiency in general are always advantageous, just how advantageous they are for you depends on how much energy you use and thus how big of a utility bill you’d eliminate from your total expenses.
Is Becoming a Solar Cannabis Company Right for You?
If you’re thinking about becoming a solar cannabis company, first consider whether it’s the best change to make for your facility right now.
Building a new facility, for example, might be the perfect opportunity to think about solar energy from the start. But if you’re looking at upgrading an existing cannabusiness, you may be limited by your existing operations or need approval from the facility owner if that’s not you.
Even if becoming a solar cannabis company isn’t your best option, you’d be surprised by how much of an impact you can make by implementing small changes to your facility’s environment.
For example, according to Milton, one important change that will get you the biggest bang for your buck is to opt for LED lights over high pressure sodium (HPS) lights. Many growers resist switching to LED because they’re comfortable with working with HPS or they believe LED lights don’t work as well for growing cannabis.
But LED technology has come a long way over the past several years. Now, switching to LED is a great first step to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing quality.
“The biggest thing is getting your environmental conditions as dialed in as possible,” Milton says. He advises looking at your facility comprehensively as a system. If every piece of equipment, from lights to HVAC, is working properly and keeping conditions like heat and humidity consistent, the whole system uses less energy overall.
What Incentives for Energy Efficiency Are Available?
Whether you decide to completely upgrade your facility to a solar cannabis company or stick to upgrading your existing equipment to be more energy efficient, there are plenty of financial programs and incentives available at the federal, state, and local utility levels.
While exact incentives depend on where you’re located and how much your utility company is willing to offer, some operators can receive as much as 50%, 70%, or even up to 100% of the cost differential between the new, better equipment and the less efficient alternatives.
Many cannabusiness operators fail to take advantage of these incentives, either because they simply don’t know they’re available or because it seems like a time-consuming, overwhelming task to research and apply for available incentives.
The right partner, however, will be able to guide you through the process, saving you time, money, and ultimately, energy consumption.
Ready to Start Saving on Energy?
Becoming an energy efficient or solar cannabis company is a great way to future-proof your cannabusiness, and there are many incentives available for doing so. But while onsite solar energy is ideal for many businesses, it’s not necessarily the best option for every business at every stage of development.
Though many people feel intimidated or overwhelmed by trying to figure out incentives or finding time to upgrade their energy systems, none of those things has to stop you from saving thousands of dollars per year on energy.
Contact our friends at Climate Resources Group to get a comprehensive energy profile done for your cannabusiness and get started on your path to better energy efficiency.