In August, RII Technical Director Gretchen Schimelpfenig spoke on a panel at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) webinar Exploring Energy Efficiency in the Cannabis Industry. Gretchen joined experts from energy efficiency program implementers and utilities working in New England, the Midwest, and California including Kyle Booth from Energy Solutions and James Yerke and Taylor Searcy of DNV GL representing DTE.

Gretchen 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 lighting, HVAC, and dehumidification technology. She described how the Utility Working Group is developing a Program Design and Market Engagement Primer so those creating and implementing programs can learn from more mature markets and deploy their own offerings for cannabis customers without recreating the wheel.

In RII’s presentation, Gretchen also noted some key implications of Illinois’ lighting regulations:

  • Without clear definition, canopy area is left up to interpretation in the existing lighting power density (LPD) requirements
  • Clarifying questions to energy regulations should be delivered via regulations, as separate FAQ documents may not be construed as binding
  • Alternative compliance pathways like those using photosynthetic photon efficacy (PPE) have proven effective in other regions like Massachusetts