Growing cannabis generates a lot of electricity and energy, which in turn generates high electricity bills and expenses. For cannabis growers, engaging in sustainability and energy efficiency efforts from the start is an important component to having a competitive edge in the industry, as well as reducing operation costs and addressing environmental concerns.
1. Focus on Details and Quality
Growers should resist the urge to make rushed decisions to hurry up and get growing. Thinking through every detail critically—from the facility layout to equipment to asking if it will be beneficial for efficiency and long term success. Choosing better build quality and products from the beginning, instead of trying to cut on initial costs, will also ensure that efficiency is on your side.
2. Plan Your Space
In order to improve efficiency, growers need to carefully plan the layout of their facility. Many times growers overestimate how much space is needed to grow, which leads to unnecessary energy bills and use of resources. It is important to consider exactly how much space your plants need based on how much cannabis you plan to grow. Additionally, you should account for the amount of room needed for your crew to work in order to make the most of your floor and workspace.
3. Track Energy Usage
A critical step in reducing electricity usage is to track and measure the facility’s actual usage. Growers should measure their baseline energy usage to determine where and how to make improvements. Many energy companies offer free energy audits and improvements for cannabis cultivators.
4. Choose the Right Lighting for your Setup
There are many different options when it comes to lighting, so it can be difficult to determine which to use. Common types are LED and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights. LED lights can cost more upfront than other types, but they last 50,000 hours, require less energy and run cooler, which can cut back on costs. Other types, such as ceramic metal halide (CMH) lights reduce electricity consumption, but have a high heat output. Figuring out what works best for your setup will ultimately improve efficiency.
5. Limit Water Use & Humidity Levels
Overwatering is a common way for growers to waste water and create unnecessary energy usage. It is important for growers to evaluate and understand just how much water the plants need and to test and maintain a watering schedule, if possible.
Out-of-control humidity levels also create unnecessary energy usage, as well as conditions ideal for mold and mildew, pests, odor, and crop damage. To address humidity levels, the best option is to use energy-efficient dehumidifiers that are properly sized for your grow room.
The Importance of Eco-Friendly Cannabis Business Practices
As both the cannabis industry and technology continue to expand, so will energy efficient products, strategies and solutions. Choosing energy efficient options not only results in savings, but could also ensure your company’s success and longevity in the industry. Developing energy efficient facilities demonstrates an ability to operate responsibly and strategically, while simultaneously addressing important environmental issues.