Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

The Cannabis Industry Energy Challenge
A Utility View of Cannabis Industry Energy Issues
October 16-17, 2018 | Newport Beach, CA

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Cannabis is already a $10 billion industry and is becoming a global marketplace.  In the U.S., the paradigm of marijuana legalization is already having profound impacts and consequences on power operations and electricity consumption, and these impacts will only increase as the industry grows.  Many communities and governments that have legalized marijuana growth and consumption do not realize that the industry is an extremely energy-intensive business.  Indoor-growing facilities require massive amounts of energy for lighting, venting, and de-humidification.  In 2012, even before the legalization wave started in earnest, one study found that legal indoor marijuana growing facilities accounted for 1% of national electricity use at a cost of roughly $6 billion per year, already rivaling energy consumption of data centers.  States where cannabis was first legalized – especially at the recreational level in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska— have struggled to find effective solutions to manage the industry’s prodigious energy consumption. 

This conference will explore the impact and consequences on electricity consumption and power operations of the rapidly growing cannabis industry in the United States.  It will focus on evaluating key considerations and planning needs that electric utilities must confront when operating in a market for legal or recreational marijuana grows, considering:

  • Power operations and grid reliability
  • Estimating energy requirements
  • Solutions for efficiency
  • Policy/rate-design options
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Cutting edge information on best equipment and design solutions for optimal efficiency
  • Designing effective customer programs for cannabis customers

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the impact of the cannabis industry to utility system operations and the power grid
  • Review cannabis industry growth on a national level and its impact on electricity consumption
  • Discuss the unique legal, regulatory, and financing challenges for utilities as a result of the industry
  • Assess energy requirements for a typical marijuana cultivation facility
  • Determine methods to improve the sustainability of marijuana cultivation and energy usage
  • Evaluate optimal HVAC and engineering designs for energy efficient marijuana grow rooms
  • Assess tips to manage power delivery to a pipeline of new cannabis customers
  • Review initiatives to standardize best horticultural lighting practices and understand how national standards will help utilities create optimal incentive programs



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this conference and 0.4 CEUs for the workshop.


Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations and test cases will be used to present course information.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: The Cannabis Industry & Cultivation: Energy Requirements for Indoor, Outdoor & Greenhouse Grows

  • Size of industry and projected growth in legal marijuana sales
  • Regional and national cannabis electricity consumption
  • The complexity of the cannabis plant and its energy needs for growth
  • Cultivation factors
  • Equipment overview
  • Energy use factors
    • Grow style and grow medium
    • Strain differentiation – indica sativa
  • Indoor
  • Greenhouse
  • Outdoor
  • Marijuana growth cycle and technology/energy requirements
    • Veg
    • Clone
    • Flowering
  • Clean energy solutions for cultivation
  • Best management practices
    • Smart meters
    • High quality equipment
    • Rebates
    • Data limitations
  • Best energy usage and water management practices
  • Evaluating practices and pathways to make the cannabis industry more environmentally viable
  • Developing sustainable standards and practices

Jacob Policzer, President, Cannabis Conservancy

Saman Razani, Founding Partner/ COO, Lost Horse Supply Co.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. :: Regulatory and Legal Update on Cannabis Industry Relevant to Electric Utilities

  • Status of state and federal law with respect to cannabis
  • Legal, regulatory considerations for utilities establishing business relationships with marijuana growers
  • What utilities need to know and track — tips for navigating the ever-changing marijuana legal landscape and their impacts to their marijuana business partners
  • Ensuring compliance for operations, land use, zoning, and environmental issues
  • Potential utility liability for providing service
  • Legal obligation to serve
  • Power theft issues and considerations
  • Utility legal obligations around cash management
  • Special contract provisions to manage particular physical, financial and legal risks
  • Special rates and policy concerns for high density loads
  • Challenges with potential stranded assets
  • California specific issues

Richard Lorenz, Partner, Cable Huston

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: California Energy Regulations, Equipment Standards & Building Codes Applicable to the Cannabis Industry

  • California Energy Commission (CEC) regulation process – how are regulations created?
  • CEC standards on LED lighting standards
  • CEC appliance standards on fans and blowers for indoor horticulture
  • CEC standards for cannabis grow equipment
    • Lighting, venting, de-humidification
  • Other technologies being looked at
  • How are agricultural buildings regulated by the Energy Code?
  • Possible other regulations/future developments that could impact cannabis
    • Renewables
    • Upcoming California commercial building efficiency standards

Dave Ashuckian, Deputy Director – Efficiency Division, California Energy Commission (CEC)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. :: Midwest Update and Initiatives for Managing Cannabis Industry Energy Consumption

  • Considerations for managing the marijuana industry’s energy consumption and carbon footprint in the midwest
  • Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance: market assessment on the cannabis industry
    • Scope of the industry in the Midwest
    • Identifying areas for analysis, discussion, and collaboration
  • Opportunities for utility – cannabis industry collaboration
    • Piloting cannabis customer incentive programs for energy efficiency
    • Energy auditing work with growers

Molly Graham, Program Manager, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

1:45 – 2:15 p.m. :: Grow Room Efficiency: HVAC, Plant Dynamics and Their Energy Consequences

This session will examine engineering and design characteristics that relate to how grow-room facilities can optimize energy efficiency.  It will discuss:

  • Typical engineering and design characteristics of indoor grow rooms
  • Challenges and typical HVAC design for grow rooms
  • Environmental controls and HVAC for grow operations
    • De-humidification/cooling/heating
  • Creating a de-humidification, heating and cooling system engineered specifically for indoor cannabis facilities
  • Latent flux analysis— how sensible energy is converted to latent energy in grow rooms for an optimal indoor grow environment
  • Various alternatives for maintaining the crucial temperature and humidity controls that are vital for proper plant growth and maximizing yield
  • The role that utilities can play in these production decisions relating to power consumption and energy efficiency

Jim McKillip, Western Regional Manager, Desert Aire Corp

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. :: Design Lights Consortium’s Horticultural Lighting Specification:  Implications & Moving Forward

Design Lights Consortium (DLC) is a non-profit whose mission is to drive efficiency in the commercial lighting sector.  In September 2018, the DLC will release their new policy and technical requirements for a Horticultural Lighting Specification.   This session will discuss the newly released Specification, process and implications, addressing:

  • The need for a well-designed horticultural lighting product
    • Saving energy
    • Optimizing plant growth and health
    • Enabling utility program design and product testing
  • History and process for designing the specification
  • Overview of specification
  • Qualifying high performance horticultural lighting products through the DLC specification
    • Test procedures
    • Alignment on performance needs
    • Industry best practices
  • Addressing areas of technical uncertainty and issues with measuring below visible light
  • Implications for utilities – better management of increasing energy demand from horticultural facilities through incentive programs for efficient and effective horticultural lighting products

Damon Bosetti, Program Manager, Design Lights Consortium (DLC)

3:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Electric Utility Roundtable: Case Studies and Lessons Learned

  • Puget Sound Energy’s Approach – Energy Efficiency Incentives for Cannabis Energy Customers
  • Portland General Electric—Utility Engagement and Operational Planning with the Cannabis
  • Boulder County – Demand Side Management & Energy Impact Offset Fund

Theresa Haskins, Business Markets Manager, Portland General Electric 

Peter Lillesve, Senior Energy Management Engineer Puget Sound Energy

Brad Smith, Sustainability Specialist, Boulder County

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. :: Cannabis Production Impact on Load

  • Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s study to estimate potential load impact from cannabis producers
    • Overview of study and methodology
    • Results on estimated demand for power from cannabis producers
    • Impact of study results on regional load forecasting in the region
  • Challenges, lessons learned, and implications from data in the studies
  • Best strategies for conducting a load forecast in your territory

Steven Simmons, Senior Economic Analyst, Northwest Power and Conservation Council

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. :: Developing Trends of Legal and Illegal Growers

So much is still to be discovered as more states legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use.

This session will look at the market outlook trends, and how they are affecting the grid.  It will consider solutions for utilities to mitigate and control the impacts to the grid in emerging problem areas, such as how aging infrastructure is going to handle increasing load from legalization, as well as illegal grows being added to the grid.

Victoria Neuenschwander, Analytics Product Manager, Honeywell Smart Energy

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 – 11:45 a.m. :: Closing Panel: Moving Forward – Utility Best Practices for Energy Efficient Design and Incentives


John Morris, Vice President Market Development, D+R International


Gary Corlett, Energy Analysis & Customer Outreach – Business Customer Division, Southern California Edison (SCE)

Dave Ashuckian, Deputy Director – Efficiency Division, California Energy Commission (CEC)

Damon Bosetti, Program Manager, Design Lights Consortium (DLC)

Nick Collins, Associate Director, Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS)

Eric Stern, Managing Partner/Co-Founder, Cultivate Energy Optimization


Designing and Implementing Utility Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs for Cannabis Growers

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Workshop Registration


1:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Workshop Timing


Indoor cannabis growing operations consume immense amounts of electrical energy and to date, very little research based literature has been published to document energy efficiency opportunities for these utility customers.  This workshop will focus on how utilities can best leverage incentive funds to mitigate the electric grid impacts associated with these types of facilities, presenting the most recent research and industry statistics available.  A primary goal will be understanding the equipment required for growing operations (lighting, de-humidification, and air-conditioning equipment) and providing insight on how these operations can accomplish their production more efficiently.  A major discussion point will be on how to effectively translate these efficiency opportunities into efficiency incentive programs, and the best outreach approaches for these customers, as well as the future direction of the cannabis industry.  Attendees who attended this workshop in October 2017 can expect a fresh agenda with new data, analyses, and case studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate opportunities for improving the overall energy efficiency of indoor cannabis grow operations
  • Review data analytic techniques to quantify cannabis production energy consumption
  • Assess best practices in the design and implementation of utility incentive programs for commercial cannabis producing customers

Workshop Agenda

I.  Understanding the engineering behind the cannabis production process

II.  Overview of energy-intensive equipment in indoor cannabis production facilities

  • Lighting
  • De-humidification
  • Air conditioning equipment

III.  Energy efficiency opportunities in indoor cannabis production facilities

  • Designing the facility
  • Implementing efficiency measures post initial design

IV.  Common barriers to adoption of energy efficiency measures

  • Expedition of facility set up often resulting in poor lighting and HVAC choices
  • High up-front costs
  • Lack of energy usage data

V.  Technologies and data analytics for improving energy efficiency in cannabis growing facilities

  • Quantifying and offsetting cannabis energy consumption
  • Metering efforts to fill data gaps
  • Analyzing known data into useful applications

VI.  Designing and implementing optimal incentive programs for cannabis

  • Review of utility programs in usage and their effectiveness
  • Customizing programs for specific customer needs
  • Effectively designing products and programs with pricing and technology
  • Motivating customer participation

Workshop Instructors

Jesse Remillard, Senior Engineer, Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS)

Jesse Remillard, is a Senior Engineer at Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS), focusing on the value verification of mechanical equipment upgrades for commercial and industrial facilities. He regularly performs engineering analysis for custom technologies, process improvements, HVAC, refrigeration, variable frequency drives, and lighting for new construction and retrofit efficiency projects. His specialties include establishing baselines for custom technologies, investigating energy efficiency program measure costs, and reviewing power generation and energy storage technologies. Mr. Remillard earned an MS in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine.

Nick Collins, Senior Engineer, Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS)

Nick Collins, is a Senior Engineer for Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS) whose areas of expertise include the monitoring and verification of energy efficiency projects, as well as the analysis of energy efficiency and demand-limiting measures in commercial and industrial facilities. He is proficient in project and construction management, with an emphasis on sustainable design, high-performance buildings, and building methods in commercial and residential construction. Prior to joining ERS, Mr. Collins worked in construction management on a diverse array of commercial and institutional projects including Gillette Stadium, Terminal A at Logan Airport, and the Walker Art Building restoration and renovation at Bowdoin College.


Dave Ashuckian, Deputy Director – Efficiency Division, California Energy Commission (CEC)

Damon Bosetti, Program Manager, Design Lights Consortium (DLC)

Nick Collins, Associate Director, Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS)

Gary Corlett, Energy Analysis & Customer Outreach – Business Customer Division, Southern California Edison (SCE)

Molly Graham, Program Manager, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Theresa Haskins, Business Markets Manager, Portland General Electric (invited)

Peter Lillesve, Senior Energy Management Engineer Puget Sound Energy

Richard Lorenz, Partner, Cable Huston

Jim McKillip, Western Regional Manager, Desert Aire Corp

John Morris, Vice President Market Development, D+R International

Victoria Neuenschwander, Analytics Product Manager, Honeywell Smart Energy

Steven Simmons, Senior Economic Analyst, Northwest Power and Conservation Council

Katie Wallace, Marketing Project Manager – Residential, Energy Trust of Oregon (invited)


Renaissance Newport Beach

4500 MacArthur Blvd

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Reserve your room:

please call 1-949-476-2001

Click here to book online

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of October 15-16, 2018

Room rate through EUCI:

$189.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to September 24, 2018.

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