About Electricity Consumption

It is not a crime to use electricity that has been legally purchased. No sensible judge would issue a search warrant on the basis of suspicious electricity consumption, However, not all judges are sensible, and small communities with bored police officers or special marijuana task forces often take it upon themselves to investigate whatever information they are able to weasel out of electric company employees. Larger police forces do not have the desire, time, or money to look for small-time marijuana growers. I once went to check on the electricity consumption of a home I was thinking about renting; I went to the electric company and asked how much electricity the current tenant was using. The electric company employee called up the address on the computer and spun the screen around for me to examine. I could see the electrical consumption for the past few years as well as all the personal information about the tenant! If this is what I can do with a simple question and a smile, imagine what law enforcement officials can do with intimidation!

There are many ways to deal with the increase in consumption of electricity. One friend moved into a home that had all electric heat and a fireplace. He installed three HID lamps in the basement that also generated heat. The excess heat was dispersed via a vent fan attached to a ther-mostat/humidistat. He turned off the electric heat, bought a fireplace insert, and started heating with wood. Even running three lamps, consuming three kilowatts per hour, the electric bill was less than it had been with electric heat! Electric bills are controlled with and generated by a computer system. Monthly energy consumption is often displayed on a bar graph for the previous 12 months. This graph makes it easy to see fluctuations in electricity consumption.

A one- to three-bed -room home can run two to three 1000-watt lamps, and a four- to five-bedroom home can operate three to five lamps with little or no suspicion regarding electrical consumption. Powering any more lamps usually requires adding new incoming circuits, or the use of present circuits will be severely limited.

The amount of electricity consumption and the size of the home are proportional. Often, an increase in electric consumption is normal. For example, electric bills always increase if there is a baby in the home or if there are more residents living there. Changing to gas or wood heat and a gas stove and water heater will also lower the electricity bill. Some friends bought a new, efficient water heater and saved $17 per month! Just by changing water heaters, they were able to add another 600-watt lamp. Another grower set her water heater for I30°F (54°C) instead of 170°F (77°C). This simple procedure saved about 25 kwh per month. But do not turn the water heater any lower than 130DF, Harmful bacteria can grow below this safe point.

The electric company might call to ask if you were aware of your increased electricity bill. This is nothing to worry about, Simply reply that you are aware of the electricity being used. If you like to make excuses, some appliances that draw a lot of electricity are; electric pottery kiln, arc welder, and hot tub. If the situation warrants, take showers at a friend's house or at a gym, use a Laundromat, and never use any electrical appliances.

The meter reader may think it is strange to see the electric meter spinning like a top during the middle ol the day when nobody is home.

Cost of Electricity Chart

Cost per 12-hour days 18-hour days

kWh

day

month

day

month

$0.02

0.24

7.20

0.36

10.80

$0.03

0.36

10.80

0.54

16.20

$0.04

0.48

14.40

0.72

21.60

$0.05

0.60

18.00

0.90

27.00

$0.06

0.72

21.60

1.08

32.40

$0.07

0.84

25.20

1.26

37.80

$0.08

0.96

28.80

1.44

43.20

$0.09

1.08

32.40

1.62

48.60

$0.10

1.20

36.00

1.80

54.00

A circuit with a 20-amp fuse, containing the following items 1400-watt toaster oven

100-watt incandescent light bulb + 20 watt radio 1520 total watts

1520/120 volts - 12.6 amps in use or

1520/240 volts = 6.3 amps in use

The above example shows 12.6 amps are being drawn when everything is on. By adding 9.2 amps, drawn by the HID to the circuit, we get 21.8 amps, an overloaded circuit!

There are three solutions:

1. Remove one or all of the high-amp-drawing appliances and plug them into another circuit.

2. Find another circuit that has few or no amps drawn by other appliances.

3. Install a new circuit. A 240-volt circuit will make more amps available per circuit.

This generator produces 4000 watls at full capacity.

meter replaced by the power company. The company had noticed a major change in electricity consumption at the residence and thought that it could be due to a defective meter, so the meter was changed, but no difference was realized. Large electricity consumers may use a heavy-duty commercial power meter.

Some people bypass the meter or figure out some other way to steal electricity. This is a bad idea. If you are stealing electricity from a power company, they might find out. Stealing electricity is a very good way to call unnecessary attention to your growing operation. If you steal electricity, you are making it easy for someone from the power company to investigate you. Of course, some people have stolen electricity for years and gotten away with it, and they might get away with it forever. Ironically, one of the main reasons that people steal electricity in the first place is because of security. If conspicuous electricity consumption is a problem, a generator will help.

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