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City of Boulder Energy Impact Offset Fund

City of Boulder Energy Impact Offset Fund

City of Boulder Energy Impact Offset 

The city has been and continues to be at the forefront of environmental protection, social equity and economic vitality. In 2017, the city developed a new Energy Impact Offset Fund (EIOF) option as part of the city's marijuana energy offset requirements. This option provides a new path to offset the intensive energy use of marijuana facilities while funding increased local renewable energy and keeping revenue local.  

The city's fund is nested under the Boulder County Energy Impact Offset Fund. Funds for city and county remain separate but this partnership opportunity allows the city to leverage existing resources offered by the county rather than creating, managing and administering a separate city fund. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the city going to do this?

All City of Boulder marijuana licensed facilities are required to offset 100 percent of their electricity use per an approved offset option. The city allows three options in which a licensed facility can offset their electricity use by opting into one or a combination of the following;

  • a verified subscription in a Community Solar Garden;
  • renewable energy generated onsite;
  • pay into the Energy Impact Offset Fund 

The Energy Impact Offset Fund was approved by City Council on , updating 2016 rules, as an approved option for licensed marijuana facilities to pay into that will offset their electricity use.

What is the purpose of the Fund? 

The goal of this fund is to create a revenue source to implement projects and programs that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that support the City’s Climate Action Plan Goals.

When developing policies, programs and partnerships, the city considers a comprehensive range of impacts and implements trade-offs that will help balance the needs and wants of the community. By requiring this fairly young, locally regulated industry to reduce its impact on the community’s GHG emission reduction goals, the city is balancing all the competing values and interests. Having the Fund as an option for offsets increases local renewable energy and keeps revenue local.  

If I am a new marijuana licensee in the city, how do I opt into the fund?

After you’ve submitted your license application to the City’s Licensing Team, contact the Climate + Sustainability (C+S) staff to ensure you are registered with them for energy reporting and choosing your offset option. Complete this electricity offset form and once you submit it, it will be emailed to the C+S staff. Contact Elizabeth Vasatka at [email protected] or 303-441-1964.  

What will the city use the Fund’s revenue for?

  • ~ 7 percent for administration costs for Boulder County to invoice facilities, and collect the funds;
  • ~ 20 percent for 2018-2020 city staff or consultant time to source and manage new renewable energy projects; and
  • The remainder of the Fund is to subsidize the development of new renewable energy projects within the city and county of Boulder to offset marijuana facilities’ electricity use and help the community achieve its Climate Commitment goals. Staff envisions using these funds to create new community solar projects for Boulder residents and businesses to subscribe to, with priority given to marijuana facilities and low to middle income residents.

Are there currently any projects being financed by the Fund?

  • Not yet. However, the city is working on its solar strategy, planning and mapping out how to get more local solar generation in our community. If the city is interested in installing a large solar array on its properties or buildings, it is likely this Fund could help seed such a project.

If I pay into the Fund, what are my benefits?

The City of Boulder’s marijuana licensing requirements state that a licensed facility must report monthly energy use and then offset 100 percent of its electricity use. Licensed facilities that opt into the Fund will pay their offset cost bi-annually and will be invoiced for the kilowatt hours used for the time designated. The city’s hope is to provide benefits back to the cannabis industry in the form of renewable energy, if logistically and legally doable.  However, with the Federal status of marijuana businesses, the city will be using consultants to research and evaluate the best ways to provide benefits back to the industry and/or install large arrays of solar locally.

How can I provide feedback on how the city will use the Fund?  
The city will be soliciting feedback on the Fund and its use in the coming months. If you’re interested in learning more and potentially participating in feedback sessions. Please email [email protected]