An Overview of Energy Requirements for Marijuana Grows

Energy Use Reporting and Renewable Energy Requirements

Licensed medical and recreational cannabis cultivation facilities are required to Report Energy Use (Chapter 6-14-9(g) and Chapter 6-16-9(g)) to the City of Boulder and comply with the Renewable Energy Requirements (Chapter 6-14-8(i) and Chapter 6-16-8(i)) to offset 100 percent of their electricity use.

Read the City Manager Rule, which interprets and further defines provisions of this ordinance.

Report your facility's electricity use

Register your licensed cannabis cultivation facility in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
For your City of Boulder cannabis 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 for medical and recreational cannabis business owners to report energy use in ESPM.

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 automatically upload energy use data into your ESPM account. For compliance with energy reporting, your facility's energy use must be shared with the city through ESPM. However, once you complete the initial sharing process in ESPM, you will not need to do it each time electricity use is uploaded or entered.

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 at 800-481-4700 (Monday-Friday 8 AM - 5 PM).

Transfer of an existing ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account to a new owner
If you are selling your City of Boulder cultivation license and you have an existing ESPM account for the facility, it's your responsibility to transfer this existing account to the new owner. Here are the instructions 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 the city's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager help desk at 844-811-8785 or BPOHelpdesk@bouldercolorado.gov

Offset your facility's electricity use

Each cannabis cultivation facility must have a Electricity Offset Selection Form on file confirming its offset selection. You will not need to submit a new form unless you are changing your offset selection(s). If you submitted a form identifying a combination of two offset options, the city also requires proof of onsite solar or a subscription to a solar garden's kWh generation.

Please reference the chart below for data submission deadlines and invoicing schedule.

Offset Cost Calculations: Your offset cost is calculated by adding six months of electricity consumption from your ESPM account and multiplying that number by the kilo-watt hour (kWh) cost, per facility. The offset price is $0.0207 per kWh through 2021. It is reducing to $0.0185 for electricity use beginning in 2022.

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

Payment Information

  • Note: The city does not currently accept in-person payments.
  • Please pay your fees via credit card or e-check through the city’s Online General Bill Payment portal or by mailing a check payable to the City of Boulder EIOF with a copy of the invoice to: ​​​​​
    • City of Boulder
    • Attn: Accounts Receivable - EIOF
    • PO Box 791
    • Boulder, CO 80306-0791
  • For help with payments, email the city Finance Department at AR-CSS@bouldercolorado.gov.

Invoice and Submission Deadline Schedule:

Deadline to enter electricity use data in ESPM

Invoice Period

Invoice Issued

November 2021 Jan 1 - June 30, 2021 January 2022
May 2022 July 1 - Dec 31, 2021 July 2022
November 2022 Jan 1 - June 30, 2022 January 2023
May 2023 July 1 - Dec 31, 2022 July 2023
November 2023 Jan 1 - June 30, 2023 January 2024

Frequently asked questions

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

The city administers the Energy Impact Offset Fund accounts payable and receivable processes twice per year. The city will issue EIOF invoices in January for the first half of the previous year and in July for the second half of the previous year. Issued offset invoices have a 30 day payment term.

Monthly payments are allowed through the city Finance Department's payment portal if it works better for your business operations, but you will not receive reminders or invoices any more frequently than biannually. It is your responsibility to maintain regular payments and pay-in-full by the next invoicing cycle.

I'm an existing cultivation facility and I would like to sell or transfer or surrender my City of Boulder cultivation license. What do I need to do?

For these requirements, contact Sandy Briggs at EIOF@bouldercolorado.gov or 303-441-1931 to arrange final payment of your offset obligation.

If you are selling or transferring your license, you will also need to transfer your ESPM account to the new owner so they have historical electricity use data for the facility. Here are the instructions on how to transfer the ESPM account to someone new.

Comply with Energy Requirements for Marijuana Grows

Provide electricity use records

Monthly electricity use data must be provided using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) FREE online tool.

  • The city has step-by-step how-to guide for medical and recreational cannabis cultivation business owners to report your energy use in Portfolio Manager.

Prove energy offset

Provide proof showing how 100% of your licensed facility’s electricity use is offset by one or a combination of the following:

If you are a newly licensed, tell the city how you plan to comply with the city's offset requirement using the Marijuana Facility 100% Electricity Offset Selection Form.

Reduce energy costs and offset fees

If you are interested in reducing your cultivation facility’s electricity use by implementing an energy efficiency project, consult with a PACE (Partners for a Clean Environment) advisor, who specialize in energy efficiency upgrades and financial assistance. They can help to assess if your facility and project are eligible. Fill out this electronic form and a PACE advisor will contact you.

Get help

  • If you are requesting a new license and need assistance setting up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) account to report your facility's energy use data, please contact the city's ESPM help desk at 844-811-8785 or BPOHelpdesk@bouldercolorado.gov.
  • For questions about these requirements, contact the City of Boulder Climate Initiatives Department at EIOF@bouldercolorado.gov or 303-441-1931.