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Boulder Marijuana Cultivation Facilities Energy Requirements

Boulder Marijuana Cultivation Facilities Energy Requirements

Marijuana Cultivation Facilities' Energy Use Reporting and Offset Requirements

Feb. 5, 2019 City Council adopted marijuana ordinance revisions - ONLY Licensed medical marijuana and recreational marijuana cultivation facilities are required to report their energy usage to the City of Boulder (Chapter 6-14-9(g) and Chapter 6-16-9(g)) and offset 100 percent of their electricity use (Chapter 6-14-8(i) and Chapter 6-16-8(i)). A new Energy Impact Offset Fund option will help the city fund increased local renewable energy and keep revenue local. 

All licensed marijuana cultivation facility owners must provide the following information: (Please note: due to the federal government shutdown, Energy Star Portfolio Manager is temporarily unavailable.)

  1. Proof of records confirming energy use (electricity and natural gas) tracking by using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) FREE online tool, and;
  2. Proof of records showing how 100 (one hundred) percent of your licensed facility’s electricity use is offset by one or a combination of the following:
  • On-site installation of renewable energy;
  • Participation in a verified solar garden
  • Subscribing to Renewable Connect (Xcel Energy's solar garden)* and/or by
  • Purchasing offsets through a city's Energy Impact Offset Fund.

The city has approved the new Xcel Energy solar garden, Renewable Connect. Please check  Xcel's website details for enrollment times and availability.   

Report your facility's energy use

Register your licensed marijuana cultivation facility in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
For your City of Boulder marijuana cultivation license or license renewal, you must report your facility's energy use through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM). The city has step-by-step how-to guide pdf for medical and recreational marijuana business owners to report your energy use in Portfolio Manager.

If your cultivation facility has its own electric meter(s) and you pay your own electricity bill through Xcel Energy, you can access a service that Xcel offers to upload energy use data and automatically upload energy use into your ESPM account. For compliance with energy reporting, your facility's energy use must be shared with the city through ESPM. However, you only need to "share" your information through ESPM to the city once.

Request Xcel to “push” your energy use into your ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account through its Energy Benchmarking portal. If you have questions, please contact Xcel’s Business Solutions Center:  1-800-481-4700  (Monday - Friday 8 a.m - 5 p.m.)

Transfer an existing ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account to a new owner
If you are selling your City of Boulder marijuana license and you have an existing ESPM account for this facility, it's your responsibility to transfer this existing account to the new owner. Here are the  instructions pdf on how to transfer the ESPM account to someone new. 

Need Help?

If you are requesting a new license and need assistance setting up an ESPM account to report your facility's energy use data, contact a Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) business sustainability advisor at 303-441-1300 or [email protected] Another service is the city's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Help desk at 844-811-8785 or email them at [email protected]

Offset your facility's electricity use

Each marijuana cultivation facility must have one electricity offset form confirming its offset selection to achieve compliance on an annual basis. Only if you are changing your offset selection will you need to resubmit a new form. If you submitted a form identifying a combination of two offset options, the city needs proof of on-site solar or a subscription of a solar garden kWh generation.

If you still need to submit a form for any of your Boulder licensed marijuana facilities, please do so as soon as possible. If you are not sure if you’ve submitted a form, please contact program manager to verify.

In 2018, for anyone that needs assistance with ESPM, the city has hired a consultant group to provide a live helpdesk to support Boulder businesses or property owners with the online tool. 

Offset Cost Calculations: Your offset cost will be calculated by adding together six months of electricity consumption from the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and multiplying that number by the kilo-watt hour cost, per facility. The offset price was determined to have parity with Xcel Energy’s Windsource program ($0.0216 per kWh).

Offset Billing Dates:  Each licensed facility that opts into the EIOF will receive an invoice for their offset cost twice a year.  

Below is the electricity offset invoicing schedule:

Invoice date sent

Invoicing for time of electricity used

Payments to  Boulder County Financial Services Office

January 2018

Jan 1- June 30, 2017
(1 st half)

Cash payments must be made by appointment at the Boulder County Financial Services office  – Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., first floor.

Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 p.m.   M-F
Carol Andreo at [email protected]

Check payments mailed to
Boulder County Financial Services,                Attn: City EIOF                                                  P.O. Box 471,                                                Boulder, CO 80306

PLEASE NOTE: Include the bottom portion of your invoice with payment. 
Checks made out to: City of Boulder EIOF

April 2018

July 1 – Dec. 31, 2017
(2 nd half)

October 2018

Jan 1 – June 30, 2018
(1 st half)

April 2019

July 1 – Dec. 31, 2018
(2 nd half)

October 2019

Jan 1 – June 30, 2019
(1 st half)

Frequently asked questions

When will I have to pay my facility’s offsets?

The city is working with Boulder County to administer the city’s accounts payable and receivable for our Energy Impact Offset Fund. We are finalizing and confirming the facility energy use data, offset form selection, and ensuring all facility owners have their ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts up-to-date.

For 2017 only, exemptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have financial hardship or a unique circumstance regarding offset purchases, please contact program manager as soon as possible to discuss your situation and to avoid fines and enforcement action. 

What if I’m a newly annexed marijuana facility with a new city license?

Annexed marijuana facilities will pay offsets after their first license renewal, as they will be licensed with the city for one year before offsetting their electricity use from the previous year. However, facility owners should register in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager database to track energy use on a monthly basis as soon as you obtain a city license. 

Because I was licensed in Boulder County and I have an eGauge energy monitoring device that tracks my energy use, what do I have to do now for the City of Boulder energy reporting requirement?

The city and county’s energy use reporting are different in the tools we use to collect energy use data. The city uses the free on-line tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, so the sooner you register your facility into the ESPM tool, the easier it will be on-going.  To get started, please access the "Report your facility's energy use" tab above or if you need further assistance or want to better understanding of the difference in energy reporting contact the program manager.


For questions about these requirements, contact the City of Boulder Climate + Sustainability Division, Elizabeth Vasatka at [email protected] or 303-441-1964.