With the rising energy prices, cultivation facilities easily incur electric bills of $150,000 per month or more once fully operational. What can a cultivator do to manage energy expenses?
Kelley Energy Management provides its clients with simulations that give insight into projected energy costs. A cultivator may spend over $2 million per year in energy expenses using inefficient baseline equipment. By optimizing for efficiency in grow lighting and HVAC, the same cultivator can lower its projected energy expenses by as much as half. In addition, the cultivator may qualify for cash utility incentives to offset the cost of installing more expensive high-efficiency lighting and HVAC.
Another way of saving costs is by reducing the amount of energy you use by moving equipment operations to non-peak hours. For example, selected flower rooms may be scheduled to turn off during the day, so all grow rooms do not run during the peak demand window. Having an energy management system monitor demand can make energy planning easier. Lowering peak demand pushes usage into cheaper cost bins and saves on the overall bill.
Furthermore, through careful planning of grow schedules, dimming grow lighting during the hottest part of the day, or raising set point temperatures a few degrees in the late afternoon can reduce energy demand enough to impact the energy bill. Converting to higher efficiency equipment, too, can provide a significant reduction in energy costs. Moving from HPS to LED lighting saves energy and reduces HVAC load. Using purpose-built HVAC systems designed for grow rooms is another significant savings opportunity.
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