Reduced energy consumption provides the quickest path to a smaller carbon footprint. Cannabis marketers have done an excellent job creating the illusion that growing cannabis equates to being environmentally friendly, but the truth is that many environmental practices of the “green” industry are not really so green.
As the industry has grown, it has come under increasing criticism for its energy consumption, water use, industrial pollution, and consumer packaging waste.
At the top of this list is energy use, which has emerged as the industry’s biggest environmental concern. In an indoor cannabis cultivation facility, fans and lights sometimes need to be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure a quality crop.
Now, take into account that about 40% of growers in the United States grow solely indoors and 60% choose a hybrid indoor/outdoor system and it is no wonder that a 2012 report on the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis production found that 1% of the nation’s energy consumption can be attributed to these operations.
In the highest cannabis-producing state of California, that figure rises to 3% of the nation’s overall energy consumption.
An issue that can no longer be ignored, the industry’s energy consumption makes it clear that better sustainability practices must be implemented.
As a heat wave swept over the state of California last summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, saying that major efforts to curb energy usage had to be taken to avoid a disruption in the state’s energy grid.
A spotlight was then put on the industry as the real damages these facilities were contributing to the state’s power grids were being revealed.
As part of its emergency measures, California created a $150 million fund to help relieve grid pressure by incentivizing businesses to reduce their energy use.
Through this fund, cannabis cultivators are encouraged to switch from conventional lighting fixtures to improved LEDs, for which they can receive up to $500 per fixture that is replaced with energy-efficient technology.
This rebate opportunity points to an obvious and immediate energy solution – switch to LED fixtures to save energy. California’s program and others like it across the country make what was once an expensive change more financially accessible through utility-based rebates that help offset the cost of most fixtures.
Rebates can help reduce or in some cases nearly eliminate the initial investment required for new LED lights, and once installed they provide a number of cost-saving benefits.
Read the full article to understand how you can take advantage of rebates, and of course, contact us if you have any questions. We are more than happy to manage the process for you!