Grow-op electricity thefts "like a five per cent surcharge" -

Grow-op electricity thefts “like a five per cent surcharge”

University of the Fraser Valley researchers calculate $154-million annual loss


More than half (52 per cent) of marijuana grow operations in British Columbia are stealing power from the grid, says a new study from the University of the Fraser Valley. Add in all the opportunity cost of not selling that subsidized power to legitimate industriesand those grow ops are costing the electricity system $154-million per year.

That figure is like a five-per-cent surcharge on the electricity bills of the province’s other 2.2 million customers, say the researchers. Darryl Plecas and Jordan Diplock told the Vancouver Sun that their new estimate is about twice what they found in similar study between 1997 and 2003, partially because more theft is occurring as grow ops get bigger, increasing the return from tapping into the system. They say that smart metres, currently being rolled-out in the province, should cut down on the thefts. The study was not sponsored by the main electricity provider, BC Hydro.


Grow-op electricity thefts “like a five per cent surcharge”

  1. The hypocrisy and ignorance of medical marijuana ‘science’ (brownies?) is compounded by the thought that those aging teenagers growing it are stealing electricity from the poor, the sick and the dying. I favor harsh treatment for those who steal electricity. Let them freeze in cold prison cells.

  2. A smarter way of catching the cheats would be to put smart meters inside the hydro vaults. It should be not be hard to subtract user consumption from vault delivery. Any significant variance, means there is a cheat somewhere down the line! Temperature readings should soon tell you who the guilty party is.

    Running a 5 % random sampling will keep the cost managable.

    Smart meters on homes is nothing more than a disguised tax grab… but that is a different story.

  3. FYI, here is the report of a BC grow op study done for the RCMP,

    Marihuana Growing Operations In British Columbia Revisited (1997-2003)

    On page 32 of the PDF: stats of “hazards” associated with grow ops