Utility Rebates: Growing Awareness

Special Report - Special Report: State of the Lighting Market

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November 1, 2018

Price of lighting equipment is cited as an important purchasing factor for two-thirds of cultivators (66%). And more growers report exploring, and applying for, utility rebates with their local energy providers. A majority of cultivators (51%) explored utility rebate incentives to subsidize the cost of LED lighting solutions in 2018, 11 percentage points more than in 2017 (40%). (LEDs were the only type of lighting for which rebate incentive questions were posed to research participants.)

However, fewer research participants said they received rebates in 2018 than did in 2017. Only 1 in 10 growers (11%) reported receiving rebates on LED purchases this year, compared to 17% in 2017. Nearly a quarter (23%) of cultivators said they have yet to submit for rebates despite having explored the opportunity (18% in 2017).

The number of growers, however, who are aware of utility rebates increased from 2017: 28% of research participants who use LEDs for propagation, vegetation or flowering did not know about utility incentives in 2018, versus 31% in 2017.

*2018 results are based on the 114 research participants who grow only indoor and/or in greenhouses using supplemental lighting. *2017 results are based on 294 research participants who grow in indoor and/or greenhouses with supplemental lighting. *2016 research participants were not asked in which growth stage they utilized vertical farming. **2016 results are based on the 117 research participants who own or work for an operation that grows cannabis.


Vertical Farming

Vertical farming is another way growers can maximize crop space and yields, despite state regulations limiting square-footage, and more growers are leveraging vertical racking systems today than in previous years. In 2016, 21% of cultivators said they used vertical racks (they were not asked to specify which growth stages). In 2017 and 2018, research participants were asked to indicate during which growth stages they used vertical racking (vegetation or flowering). This year, 38% of respondents said they use vertical racks during vegetation and 18% use them in flowering (compared to 31% during vegetation and 13% in flowering in 2017).

Looking to the future, 22% of research participants who are not using vertical racking in the vegetative stage plan to do so within the next year, as do 19% of those not currently racking in the flowering stage.

*2018 results are based on the 114 research participants who grow only indoor and/or in greenhouses using supplemental lighting.



*Total may exceed 100% because respondents could select all that apply. **To examine lighting trends among cultivators, CBT’s research looked at the responses of the 84% of participants (114) who grow only indoor and/or in greenhouses using supplemental lighting. Responses from participants who grow outdoors or in greenhouses without supplemental lighting were excluded from the final report.


*2018 results are based on the 114 research participants who grow only indoor and/or in greenhouses using supplemental lighting. 2017 results are based on 294 research participants who grow in indoor and/or greenhouses with supplemental lighting. **2016 research participants were not asked how many levels they utilized in vertical farming. *** Figures rounded to nearest percent.



**2017 results are based on the 140 research participants whose operation uses LEDs for propagation, vegetation and/or flowering. **2018 results are based on the 65 research participants whose operation uses LEDs for propagation, vegetation and/or flowering.