RII on Panel with Massachusetts, Illinois and California Representatives

On August 26th, RII Executive Director Derek Smith spoke on a panel at the DesignLights Consortium’s webinar Incentives vs. Regulations – What Do They Mean for Product Selection?. He joined experts from states with legalized cannabis markets including Massachusetts, Illinois, and California including Thao Chau from the California Energy Commission, Brendan Place from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and Lauren Gaikowski from Franklin Energy representing ComEd.

Derek shared with attendees RII’s mission to advance resource efficiency to cultivate a better agricultural future, and how the Utility Working Group of RII’s Technical Advisory Council is engaging to improve outcomes for cultivators while various states introduce regulations that include minimum performance standards for horticultural lighting. He described our understanding of cannabis energy use from 2018’s Cannabis Energy Report, why some governments are acting, how some states are responding, and how regulations and energy codes affect efficiency programs.

In RII’s presentation, Derek noted some key implications of government action related to energy use in cannabis cultivation facilities:

  • New baselines / reduction in incentives / higher CapEx
  • Need for cultivator and supply chain education
  • Improved OpEx for cultivators / Higher likelihood of long-term tax revenues for communities
  • Program implementers and cultivators working more closely to find additional savings

After the presentation, Derek and RII’s Technical Director Gretchen Schimelpfenig participated in breakout discussions along with many RII members to develop some recommendations for efficiency program responses to state regulations and building energy codes.

There is one more Horticultural Webinar Wednesday left in the DLC series on September 23rd: Moving Projects Forward: Leveraging Incentives to Minimize Costs. Register online to join the conversation.