420 Magazine Background

Faulty Meter Behind High Power Use, Not Grow-op

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
They've been a three-month-long headache for green-thumbed criminals, but one local family is thanking their lucky stars for Richmond's electrical inspection team.

Since starting the inspections of homes this summer as part of a crackdown aimed at rooting out marijuana grow-ops, the team-which includes a fire inspector, two RCMP officers and an electrical inspector-has searched 78 houses, apartments and townhomes, 45 of which showed evidence of previously growing B.C. bud.

But it was one home in particular that caught inspectors by surprise.

Despite meeting the threshold for an inspection-by drawing triple the amount of power normally consumed by a home according to information supplied by B.C. Hydro-there was nothing inside to explain the high power use.

As it turns out, it was a faulty meter that was causing the eye-popping numbers.

Richmond Fire-Rescue's Jack Beetstra said the problem had cost the family thousands of dollars, something they'll no longer have to pay. He wasn't able to provide further details.

Asked how someone could be unaware of having an astronomically high bill, Beetstra explained that newcomers might not know any better.

"If you move from a different part of the world, or if you move from a different community and you're not really paying attention and you're not up on your electrical bill, maybe it's something they're not familiar with. Some people look at their bills closer than others."

There was another home inspected in which older fridges and freezers explained why it was drawing large amounts of power.

One troubling discovery has been the large number of multi-family homes that have been used to grow marijuana.

Of the 20 units search, 16 showed evidence of a grow op, with signs including abandoned irrigation systems, the electrical system being bypassed and extra venting.

"That concerns us more because of the high life threat and property threat in a townhouse or an apartment," he said.

Beetstra explained that home owners are given 48 hours notice before an inspection takes place, and during that time, the team's experience has been that criminals either abandon what's inside or salvage what they can.

BC Hydro spokesperson Gillian Robinson said homeowners should scrutinize and monitor their electrical bills, but it's BC Hydro that monitors the meter.

She said homeowners can request their meter to be audited.

One way of determining whether one's power use is out of line is by talking to a neighbour or friend about what they're paying each month, Robinson suggested.

When purchasing a home, she said homeowners can request to see how much the previous homeowner has been billed in the past few months.

Source: Richmond Review, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Richmond Public Library
Contact: news@richmondreview.com
Website: Richmond Review - Your Best source for Local Community News delivered in print or online


New Member
That gives you plenty of time to hide your plants and buy some tomato plant and legal herbs or whatever to put in your grow room. Then when they come to take a look, you can show them your legal indoor hydro grow, the electricity use will be explained, and hopefully they'd leave you alone after that.
Top Bottom