PG&E Extends Ag Rate to Marijuana Growers Today

indoor grow

Marijuana grown indoors. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Press release from PG&E:

While recreational marijuana cannot be sold in California until January 2018, existing medical marijuana growers and future recreational marijuana growers will be eligible as of March 1 for PG&E’s agricultural energy rate.

The passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016 allows the state to license and regulate recreational marijuana cultivation and businesses.

“Cannabis is a legal crop in our state, like almonds and tomatoes. Agricultural growers now will be eligible for the same rate and energy efficiency programs as farmers of other crops,” said Deborah Affonsa, vice president of Customer Service at PG&E.

PG&E customers are eligible for agricultural energy rates if they have received a permit from their local jurisdiction for the cultivation of cannabis and if 70 percent or more of the annual energy use on the meter is for agricultural end-uses such as growing crops, pumping water for agricultural irrigation or other uses that involve agricultural production for sale which do not change the form of the product. The agricultural energy rate applies both to customers who grow cannabis outdoors and those who grow indoors in commercial greenhouses.

The agricultural energy rate does not apply to residential customers who can legally grow up to six marijuana plants inside a private residence per the state Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Previously, medical marijuana was not considered an agricultural product by PG&E, and growers were not eligible for the agricultural energy rate. Because medical marijuana can be grown and sold in California currently, licensed growers of medical marijuana are immediately eligible for the agriculture energy rate.

Cannabis growing operations can use an extremely large amount of electricity and are considered to be equivalent to other energy-intensive operations such as data centers.

“We’ve met with representatives of the emerging legal cannabis industry and listened to their needs. We are here to help our customers make smart, efficient and affordable energy choices. Now that cannabis is in California’s future, our next step is to work with these new agricultural customers and make this industry as energy efficient as possible,” said Affonsa.

PG&E’s agricultural rates are under the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission and the state of California.

Agricultural customers with questions about rates, rules and energy efficiency programs can learn more or contact PG&E’s dedicated Agricultural Customer Service Center at 1-877-311-3276.




  • Wtf! Dope growers get a power break too?

    • Only cannabis growers, not “dope growers”.

      • Local Consultant

        It’s always has and always will be Dope. Don’t be such a politically correct [edit]. Stand up for your values and where you came from
        Dope Growers.

        • Local Consultant

          Can’t use the P-Word?? What the hell has this world turned into!

        • I have heard one other old person use “dope” to refer to cannabis. Other than that Ive only ever heard the term used for heroin. Try not to have a heart attack over teenagers doing the charleston.

      • That will encourage even more people to register and then at some point things will change and you will be under the thumb of those government agencies that seem so willing to help and facilitate your endeavors. Just a thought.

      • Same thing. These are drug dealers. They are illegally manufacturing and selling a drug intended to alter the mind of the user. The difference between them and the alcohol industry, is the alcohol industry is heavily regulated for potency, environmental, social, economic, and regional laws. This is not a clandestine industry brought into the daylight, it is the state shining a flashlight in an otherwise pitch-dark night just so they can force money from the dealers. Now, PG&E is giving them a break because it is a “legitimate agricultural industry.” BULLS*IT. If that is the case, I would love to see the first person apply for subsidies from the USDA. When this industry is equally regulated and inspected by the FDA, DEF, and every other list of alphabet soup agencies that regulate every other “drug” industry, then it can be considered legal.

    • paying more goes along with bending over

      A reduction in costs that we will pay for. If you have read the T-S you would have noticed that at least four times in the past 10 months PG&E has submitted for gas and electric increases. The person I talked to stated PG&E was doing applications for increases as it has previously. Then surprise, surprise you get your bill and it is about 20% higher than it was a year ago. PG&E does not have to notify the consumer of the rate increase. It is up to you to find out it is too late to protest the rate increase. Why, PG&E raised the rates? Normal increases in energy production and maintenance of the distribution network is their response. I asked if the gas rate was because of the huge fine PG&E had to pay for the gas pipe mishap in the Bay Area about two years ago. No was the answer; raising rates to recoup fines is not allowed. Yet there is a glut of natural gas in the nation. Did I believe the PG&E lady. I am sure she was reading what the higher ups told her to read. But no one writes in opposition of the increases so PG&E knows it is a perfunctory exercise of processing forms. Have they every been refused a rate increase? NOT one time.

  • This is appropriate.

  • I thought guest wasn’t going to comment RHBB I guess he changed his mind

  • Redwood Coast Energy Authority is moving in on PGE turf. PGE says….

    • Pg&e. Says what???

    • Opting Out as soon as I can .They/The county will not know my energy business/ information. pge has proven to protect the customers information time and time again .They are part of the county this redwood coast energy authority . There we be little to no savings 1 to 2 cents a kilowatt big brother just mining more info about your power usage .If you want green power install solar panels why pay high prices for it ….

      • Well said.

      • Solar panels take about 8 years to pay themselves off in savings. by that time half the life of the panels is gone. They maybe green but they are not a great way to save money.

        • I am not sure that I agree with you. I have lived off the grid for twenty years using solar and hydro. My panels put out 1560 watts at peak power when new. Now they put out approximately 1200 watts, or about 80% of original.

          I did just receive a notice from RCEA (for an “in town” property), and wonder about it. Anyone know more?

        • With owning an EV and having a grid tied system, my system will pay for itself in 3.5 years.

          I have a few solar panels that were manufactured in 1981 that are still putting out good numbers.

          Most module manufactures like US owned Solar World come with a 25 year performance warranty and 20 year workmanship warranty.

        • You’ve been deceived, and probably by the Oil Interests.
          I’ve had my solar systems for more than 25 years and they produce all I need for my washing machine, dish washer, bread machine, nuker, vacuum cleaner, etc. And in the winter, on my little hydro system, I can even HEAT with my solar/hydro combo…FREE!
          Last time I checked, solar panels were less than a $1 a watt. Consider updating your information from a reliable source.

        • panels come with 35 year warranty now

        • Hey “hmm”. You came to a gunfight with a knife, with that statement…You’re talking to the kings of off grid solar on this forum. Dont get out much?

          We’ve had our system 17 yrs and it still works at 86%. And i even let it sit unused for 6 years. Only had to buy new batteries and bammm! Back in action.

        • If you live off-grid, panels can pay themselves off in 200 days each, or less if you got the on sale. (Gas in a generator is the alternative for some people.)

  • Check with the county first about local ordinances. I own an electric vehicle and wanted to participate in a pge program to benefit from a lower elec rate. But the county would not allow the 2nd meter to be installed without a $1200.00 special use permit. (Humboldt county has an ordinance against two meters per residence).

    Estelle Fennel said she would look into the ordinance and see about adding EV owners the allowance of a second meter. This was two years ago. Nothing ever happened and she ignores my emails now.

    This county doesn’t care about being green in the environmental sense. They only care about the green rush and profiting from it.

    • Yup only too late will we see the error of their ways

    • Thats odd, I know numerous folks who are participating in that program who did not have that permit fee. And no their not growers.
      PGE came and did something to their meter and that was it, no need for 2 meters. Id say call pge, im sure they would want to know if the county is charging folks that much to be in their program!!!

      • That is a time of use meter for charging your car if you have a solar inter tie system you can not get the charging rate only one program can be programed per meter .PGE offers a separate meter with a fixed rate for car charging .PGE cost 100 dollars . This separate meter also creates a group of electric car chargers through out the state that can be referenced for information on pricing etc as a group .You might say a lobbying group of electric car owners . The meter above you mention is mixed with your house you have know way of knowing exactly what charging your car costs and what it costs to drive it . NOW FOR THE BIG NEWS HUMBOLDT COUNTY IS THE ONLY COUNTY IN THE STATE OF CA THAT WILL NOT ALLOW THIS METER >I ALSO HAVE ASKED ESTELL TO HELP FIX THIS ORDNANCE FOR 4 YEARS( WHICH WOULD CREATE LOCAL JOBS ) >PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOLAR INTER TIES ARE FORCED TO PAY MORE TO CHARGE THEIR ELECTRIC CARS >THE ONLY OPTION IS A 1200 DOLLAR SPECIAL PERMIT TO EVEN PUT IN AN APPLICATION . Arcata no problem Eureka no problem .THE COUNTY BIG PROBLEM ! THE SUPERVISORS PART OF THE PROBLEM . TESLA SAID THEY CAN’T BELIEVE IT THEY DON”T WANT TO GET POLITICAL BUT OFF THE RECORD TOLD ME THEY ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT HUMBOLDT IS SO ADVERSARIAL TO CAR CHARGING METERS FOR HOME OWNERS >THE BUILDING DEPT STILL THE SAME AS IT EVER WAS ADVERSARIAL .>>

      • I have the electric car rate and I dont have a second meter and PGE did not have to come to my house to perform any work.

        • Sounds like you are participating in EV-A. Go to the PGE website and check out the EV-B plan.

          Note, if you live in city limits of Arcata, Eureka, or Fortuna you are able to participate in the EV-B plan. But the unincorporated towns in the county are not.

        • You also pay more to charge your car than the fixed rate ev meter

    • Think RCEA will change that Sunny B? (This is above yer paygrade “Huh”) Im guessing 2 meters might be for those who have 2 Ecars?

      • Most Electric car owners are also into solar .That’s the kicker and also PGE has a fixed rate not like the meter referenced above that has tier billing the more you charge the higher your rate is but not with the car charging meter its a fixed rate.I also contacted the reca and they could not care less .. We have many industry experts that have offered to go before the supervisors and explain it to them .The permit fee every where else in ca averages 100 dollars not 1200 .Green rush is all they are interested in . Real non pot growing jobs that pay payroll taxes and insurance are of no interest to them

        • So in short… Is the 1200 dolla fee for those that are tied in solar with an EC station? Or is this particular to those who need multiple charging stations? Both?

          • $1200 fee is a special use permit because it goes against the county ordinance.

            The pge plan is called EV-b

    • Just buy a hummer and forget about it, pollute less than all those batteries anyways

    • You don’t need two meters. Just a time of use meter .. I know over a dozen people who have switched to ev rate with no added expense to them very easy to do

      • I currently have the E1 plan – (no time of use)

        I do not NEED two meters, but I would like two meters.

        I want to save money and separate my EV and household electrical usage. I also want to have a collective voice as an EV owner.

        Humboldt county cannot give us a single reason why EV owners cannot participate in this program, other than ordinance No 2101 approved in 1996 that restricts a property to only one electrical meter for each primary use on a parcel. There are some exceptions in the ordinance for certain accessory structures, fire pumps, emergency standbys, multiple-occupancy buildings, etc


  • Oh I see. Along with corporate breaks for big pharma drug companies extorting our older population, now the industry that has increased crime, greed and apathy in our county gets a price break for growing a mood altering drug PRIMARILY used for getting high not medical reasons. Meanwhile, my rates have shot up because I work in a legitimate business. Thanks for the big “Fuck you” to the common guy trying to make a living without turning to the so-called harmless drug industry.

  • So very WRONG…. We have 3 cpaps ( breathing machines) and our rates go up. We turn in reports from doctors call and complain and our rates go up. What’s wrong with this picture. Funk The growers that rape our land and kill all our wildlife. But they get a break. I’M SO SICK OF THE GROWERS AND ALL THAT SUPPORT THEM….

  • The bottom line, as always, is the bottom line.

    In this case we have an industry that should not only be unsubsidized by PGE, but should in fact be outlawed for being totally unnecessary and toxic to our well being.

    Anyone that’s had an indoor operation KNOWS what I’m talking about. These operations are all VAST consumers of energy.

    The lights are just the beginning. By themselves they consume thousands of watts. In many cases it’s tens of thousands of watts per day. When the big boys start LEGALLY growing it’s going to be hundreds of thousands of watts.

    Sooo… So PGE sees a big score. A literal CASH COW FOR PGE. They get to deliver huge amounts of electricity to one address. They don’t have to add a line here or there. They don’t have to worry about what size transformer here or there. It’s a big win, win for PGE and the wondrous indoor cannabis industry.

    For the rest of us, it will be a good bit less benevolent. We will enjoy the side effects of having what amounts to a very large herd of cows in our midst. Just like a large herd of real cows, this unnatural herd of cows will\does consume an inordinate amount of our resources. And, through their rapidly growing PAC’s, they give us that other effect common to herds of cows. Yes, they give us the proverbial fart in the face.

    Oh yes, we have two different herds involved, but they all belong to the species known as the cash cows.

    While not an inherently bad breed, they are known as a breed that, when given an inch, will take a mile.

    In this case that means when given subsidized electricity, they will consume much more electricity. Carbon imprint isn’t a big deal for cash cows like these types. I mean, EVERYONE KNOWS THE INDOOR CANNABIS INDUSTRY IS GREEN, RIGHT? I mean that has to be right or?

    I personally think that indoor growing in California should be banned. I don’t care if you claim to produce your own electricity. Your still consuming energy needed to produce the panels. And the fans, and the dehumidifiers. And the air conditioners. And don’t even forget about the use of exotic and illegal pesticides.

    Thd DIRTY secret of the indoor pot industry, uh excuse me, the indoor cannabis industry, is that it’s probably the dirtiest industry in the world.

    Nay,nay I say. I have met the enemy and he is …

    We can’t yell in protest at an fool in Washington, D.C. dismantling our hard fought for laws protecting our environment whilst we sit by and watch an extremely environmentally harmful industry get rewarded with subsidies which aren’t meant to save energy but are meant to encourage more energy usage. Period.There isn’t any wiggle room here.

    Instead of rewarding those who conserve energy, PGE has decided to reward the largest consumers of energy. We can’t ignore the hypocrisy being displayed by the advocates of indoor cannabis cultivation.

    As was famously sung, “I’ve looked at life from both sides now, been in and out…”

    And the illusion facing us is the indoor pot industry. The illusion that it’s benign or necessary.

    Not only should we protest this subsidization, we should demand just the opposite. Either this industry be brought to the table and forced to start paying for its carbon footprint, it’s pollution of our water and its (over)use of toxic chemicals or it should be banned.

    I find it hard to differentiate between the indoor pot industry and a tanning salon. Perhaps you could justify them in some parts of the world. But not in California.

    • Wow Tutu, That was a well thought out argument. I agree. I would add one more thing. The tons and tons of “Dirt” dumped after it has been used. It is very little dirt and more chemical, and biomass than dirt. All of this is filtered out and yes it does end up in our watersheds. Just look at our once beautiful rivers and streams now flowing green with algae killing our fish, making recreation unsanitary, if not unhealthy. These algae blooms had never occurred with the mass expanse it does now. Just think of how much coal is burned to provide this mass of power used. The lithium and lead mines themselves destroy entire areas and when these off grid users are done with them, off they go over a bank somewhere to degrade and wash away to the ocean.
      The “Green industry” is just as bad for our environment as the oil industry save one thing, the oil industry actually IS regulated.

      • Cannabis has been cultivated for hundreds, even thousands of years. Extracting oil is a newer process, just like prohibition. The smear campaign on cannabis has been effective with Cory here. Moving out of prohibition and into comprehensive regulation is how you push out drug dealers on the street. PG&E just want to incentivise legally permitted cannabis farms to use more of their ill-gotten electricity. Everybody just wants a piece of the cannabis pie, or money. This is about money. Like juicing a turnip, farmers will be the poor, dried up root, that feeds the ever cheaper cannabis market. This will be a short end to pot sold on the street. Then people like Cory will realize that legal alcohol, tobacco, and oil actually harm and kill millions more people than a medically and historically proven plant.

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