Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP)


cannabis plants shown in an indoor grow operation under grow lights

According to the CEO’s 2018 Energy Use in the Colorado Cannabis Industry report, the energy burden associated with Colorado cannabis cultivation is significant, with cultivation facilities using an estimated 2% of the electricity generated in Colorado. As a result of this electricity use and additional natural gas and propane use, energy expenditures make up an estimated 33% of cultivation business’ operating costs. However, significant energy cost saving and resource reduction opportunities exist through the implementation of resource efficiency measures.

To assist Colorado cannabis cultivation facilities in realizing these opportunities, CEO has developed the Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP). The program is designed to provide eligible cannabis cultivation businesses with  no-cost technical assistance, including a facility audit and analysis of previous resource use, to better understand energy and water use and identify cost-effective resource management opportunities. CEO has partnered with Resource Innovations to offer technical assistance and support.

As a follow up to the on-site facility audit, CEO will partner the Colorado Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and a lending institution to provide financing to help program participants implement efficiency measures.

Contact information

Please contact Elizabeth.r.lee@state.co.us with any programmatic questions.

CROP Videos

Learn more and hear from one of CROP’s program participants in the video below. 

Watch the informational webinar below for more details about the program, facility audits, financing, and applying to the program.

Watch the CROP Informational Webinar

Applying for CROP

Step 1: Determine program eligibility

Eligiblity requirements:

  • Must be a cannabis cultivation facility registered with the State of Colorado.
  • Must have a combined monthly electric and gas utility bill of $5,000 or more.
  • Cultivation facility does not already have access to energy-specific technical assistance through its utility provider (see map below). 
    • Xcel Energy, Black Hills Energy, and Platte River Power Authority (Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, & Loveland utilities) customers are not eligible for technical audits, but are encouraged to access their utility’s technical assistance offerings. Implementation support and financing will become available for all cannabis cultivators later this year.

View map in its own window
Step 2: Submit an application

In order to be considered for CROP, cultivators are required to submit a completed application. CEO and Resource Innovations will conduct 30 technical assessments during the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). These assessments are conducted on a first come, first served basis. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please send completed applications to ceoCROP@resource-innovations.comPlease attach two recent utility bills with your application to ensure eligibility.

Download the CROP application

Step 3: Gather information & schedule assessment

The Colorado Energy Office has partnered with Resource Innovations to provide technical assistance for CROP. Once you have been accepted into the program, a representative will contact you to schedule an on-site audit of your facilities to begin the process.  
Collecting your operation’s historic resource usage data is a critical first step, including (where applicable): 

  • Electricity usage 
  • Natural gas usage 
  • Propane usage 
  • CO2 usage 
  • Water usage 

This data, coupled with the on-site facility audit, will allow Resource Innovations to identify opportunities for efficiency improvements in your operations. 

Renewable energy assessments are also available upon request.

Step 4: Guided assessment & report development

After conducting a technical energy assessment, Resource Innovations will deliver a summary report about your facility. This report will detail current performance metrics of your facility, recommended efficiency measures, and projected resource usage and cost saving potential.

Step 5: Review financing options

Alongside your assessment report, Resource Innovations will help you assess available financing options to pay for the implementation of efficiency measures.  

The Colorado Energy Office has partnered with Colorado Clean Energy Fund to provide low-cost financing for eligible projects. Other project financing options, such as equipment manufacturer financing and utility rebates, may also be available.

The CROP program offers technical support to cultivators who do not currently have access to technical assistance through their local utility. The Energy Office anticipates that access to financing will be available to all cultivators later this year.  At this time, we recommend cultivators who are not eligible for technical assistance through CROP to take advantage of current offerings from their utility provider. You can find more information about these offerings in the “Additional Resources” section below.

Step 6: Apply for funding

After identifying which projects to prioritize, Resource Innovations and the Colorado Clean Energy Fund will assist cultivators in gathering necessary documents and applying for financing.

Additional Resources

Cultivators whose utility provides technical assistance can fine more information about their utility's programs by visiting the utility's website:

You can find additional cannabis-specific sustainability information on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Greening the Cannabis Industry webpage