Worried about electric consumption detection

I’m worrying about this a little late in the grow but i am anyhow. And i might add i live in a very red state. I’ve done some research on it and although there’s not much record of electric companies turning in there best paying customers it has happened. I have about 4 weeks to go till harvest on 7 plants under 2 600 watt hps lights. It’s the only way i’m gona get caught. Smell and others knowing is under control but as of lately the thought of this is causing me much paranoia and being high makes it much worse. I guess i’m looking for some reassurance so i can sleep better. So if you guys know something i’d like to here it and others are probably wondering as well.

1200 watts is less than a space heater and probably an air conditioner. I would be shocked if it made any utilities radar. Now if you were running an entire house rigged with 20- 1000watt lights that would be another story.


That sounds good, i didn’t start worrying until i got my electric bill it was 290. thats around 30 more than it was last year. Because of this big secret the only people i have to talk to about this is right here thanks Watt-Sun


I live in a legal state . I can grow for recreation but the stigma is still strong around here. only my wife knows I grow and she could care less about my hobby , so I can relate. I come here to learn and share my excitement.


You might balance it out a little by watching your hot water usage and also electric clothes dryer big power users . Good luck finishing up


I too have concerns as my electric company is also the city I live in…is a cooperative and they supply and bill it along with water and trash.
I know when I had around 6 fish tanks running for years it seems pretty similar to usage back then running 2 tents 4x8 in size.

All I know is I don’t let vampires nor authorities cross my threshold without a warrant!

Look up Barry Cooper on you tube…
X drug interdiction cop who saw the light


I here ya, i’ve distanced myself from everyone so no one has a reason to come over. Those that know me know to call first. I live 3 miles outside a small town in a small subdivision surrounded by farms. Another concern i have is all the air traffic i have over my house. Every time i hear a chopper i’m peeking out the windows like i’m under attack. I haven’t heard of any detections from the light/heat by air in my state anyway. I feel like i’m teetering on the brink of disaster or Glory. I have 4 weeks to go my buds are getting so heavy there bending over all ready. I have the patience but my nerves are just about shot.

Man you got nothing to worry about you aren’t selling big weight and it would be a waste of time to investigate you. With so many people using computers, 5 t.v. per house with every one on a cell phone and tablets you got nothing to worry about. The helicopters and planes with have a black orb hanging out in front they did that to my house alot before I went to federal prison


Haha, mine went from 120 a month to 240 and not a word for over a year. 30 bucks didnt even get noticed


Two 600 watt lights I agree wouldn’t sweat them much. At that point I would be more worried about getting pinched for rfi if using digital ballasts really.

I would check your state regulations for plant count. Even in non legal states there’s usually a distinguishing number between a misdemeanor and a felony. 5 plants or less is pretty common threshold there, but I’m not familiar with every state. From there, I don’t believe it’s very common for a warrant to be issued over high energy consumption or rfi issues. So if someone was after you, you would probably get a knock at the door or have someone watching you. Be cognizant of stuff like that and have a story. Like you grow coral or have lizards that require heat and lighting that draws extra power. Then shut the door.

Chances are you’ll never hit anyone’s radar with a grow that size. Maybe if some rats on you or whatever. But just don’t do dumb stuff and you’ll be golden.


I pulled the plug. I couldn’t take the worry of my lights any longer and until i feel safe about it im gona keep off. I knew there was a reason i didn’t want to know my state laws regarding growing and possession over a couple ounces,there’s two felonies. Even though i took down my 2 600’s i couldn’t leave them in the dark so i hung 6 cfl’s and i’ll ride it out with them. The rfi thing got me thinking also. I have a cop that lives down the road and he drives by in his cruiser. If he’s got radio on will he here my lights ? I don’t know but i’m to old for prison.

6 cfls is a nightlight compared to the 600s. You’ll end up with what you have already. Your choice bro, good luck with you grow. You really have nothing to worry about with electricity. That cop probably smokes too.


Those Ballasts would have to be right next to the radio for them to hear any distortion they are on digital now and the only thing that is still out there to pick it up is a hamm radio but doubt full and a cb radio would have to in the same room and you would need like 50 600w ballasts to really get anything minute for people to even pick up slight static. So build a feriding cage it is copper screen wrapped around 1x1 sticks and put your ballasts in there problem solved


Salutations HogStix,

It would help more to know the exact brand & model of your electric meter.

So let me guess: your timer is set for a 12/12 cycle, isn’t it??


Years ago i read manufacturer documentation relative to data mining made possible by log meters, there are at least 2 features which i found to be overlooked as i vaguely recall:

  • The “grid” could actually detect “leaks” which included stolen electricity by analyzing neighbour meter readings, mainly for maintenance purposes.

  • Logging meters collect 3-dimensional raw information (voltage, current, phase) from which to extract data in the time-domain. Purposes could include cost modulation depending on “premium” hours or similar, but not only…

M’well, not really. It depends… For example a company might decide to continue to monitor consumption once a month but then why invest in sophisticated data loggers when electro-mechanical meters represent time-proven mature technology?..

Sorry but reading any further could worsen such situation by an order of magnitude!

Lets have a spoiler, simply to spare some of your serenity…

Here’s some old capture i kept in reserve, to be used in discussions as this:


It not only about consumption magnitude, power electrical appliances clearly display through their characteristic “voice” carried by timing transitions.

Just pull the plug unless you got your own generator, right now the 12/12 timer cycle is being broadcasted with metronome (crystal-based!) accuracy quite probably detectable also from space, while a logging meter behaves similar to a lossless antenna since it’s directly connected…

Of course there are other external factors coming to play but it only requires sufficient motivation to spot those obvious 12/12 cycles. So, if absolute privacy is desired then i’d say the garden signal needs to be disguised into something else, if that’s even an option. Lowering consumption by converting to LEDs still wouldn’t erase your 12/12 signature all by itself, though if an operator is stupid enough to focuss on the amount of consumption only then maybe a lower pedestal can be partially camouflaged into “flour noise”. A better alternative is to split the cultivation space as 2 complementary sets which always appear to be “on” while power is switched every 12 hours; synchronized power relays are even likely to mask the transition glitch considering the sampler’s resolution might fall in the range of 288 slices per day (e.g. once every 5 minutes). In addition, the natural light from a greenhouse could help with such maskerade senarios a little bit further. Yet, if you’re already under the authoritie’s suspicion then it may be too late to start a reflexion on radiation in the electromagnetic + infra-red spectrums… Which is why at that point it could make sense to disconnect in hope the eavesdroppers shall be induced to conclude the harvest already occured, which just might be the case if growing autofems for example.

Nonetheless i’d fail to see some motive for an operator to erase collected data once it’s been acquired!

Good day, have fun!! :peace_symbol:


meter type is , i don’t know if that’s right number. And your right about they probably already have my signature. I was thinking to put one back in set at 400w instead of 600. But that ain’t gona hide the 12/12 cycle. I knew that technology had to be out there. Another factor in my decision is by coincidence the electric company hired a company to place these green covered power pack of some kind i think there replacing the old transformers still up on the poles. They just spread straw around the concrete foundation each one has that are spread out every 4-6 houses. I don’t know if there hooked up or not. But them guys been scurrying around in my back yard. Unless there under cover lol

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Hi there HogStix,

Please be careful not to show information which might happen to be user-specific… In any case we should expect to find your exact model here, or maybe it’s discontinued:


M’well, looking at my old sample illustration we may come to understand the trick would be to burry the average consumption pedestal below a houshold’s noise floor which is never below ~120 Watts in this case, though it still doesn’t sound like a suitable option.

Ideally the goal should be to place some power buffer inbetween a smart meter and its associated garden after it’s been divided into complementary cells, then distribute while also accounting for artificial randomization meant to emulate human activity, including factors as day-of-week and seasons…

It would help if the electricity provider side recorded boggus signatures as for a wasteful jacuzzi installation, though that’s insufficient to raise the noise floor at night. Yet if we divide an autofem culture into 3 hours time-shifts then that makes a total of 8 shifts of which half the lights are on while the other half is off, which in turn shall render broken lamps significantly less noticeable just because it’s now 1 defective unit agaist many that distribute in an array of cultivation spaces. Though too bad that’s hardly compatible with non-auto genetics during a vegetation phase - but if it’s real large then perhaps that ain’t totally impossible! Which reminds me of days when the “Gas Lantern Routine” inspired a parallel reflexion on schedules where a day doesn’t last 24 hours, for example:



One way or another crystal-based timers sound like the worse option imaginable under these circumstances simply because they’re switching high currents with excellent time-coherency… IMO that’s one good reason to welcome randomization items, then there’s the matter of meters than can catch transitional events, which inspired me a buffer-controller scenario ultimately.

Briefly put, independant batteries must be charged in random bursts programmed to mimick additional household activity while the accumulated energy is available to power an arrays of complementary cells at a proper steady stade. E.G. with a hidden yet obvious (masquerade) barrier breaking any link to real time-coherent cultivation activities…

Good day, have fun!!

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ya know i thought about that a little. Thanks

yes i seen it

You have nothing to worry about…
As long as your power bill doesn’t exceed 1000 bucks I wouldn’t worry about it …
And even if it does they usually dont trip as long as you pay your bill on time…
I run 2600 watts of lights and a 12000 btu ac and 600 watts worth of air pumps and fans and the list goes on and on…
Power bill usually run from 550 to 750 depending on certain things…
More then likely you have a smart meter and it knows every time you turn on a light switch…
First thing that you shouldn’t do is get paranoid and start doing things that you wouldn’t normally do… that would be a red flag…
Understand that they probably already know that your not worth there time and resources to hassle…
Turn your lights back on and get these girls finished… :grin::smiling_imp::shushing_face::zipper_mouth_face::no_mouth:


Power consumption is in no way enough reason for any agency to get a warrant to enter your home. Increased power usage could be caused by any number of things. A 12/12 signature could be someone running a space heater from 8pm-8am or an air conditioner during the hottest parts of the day. As long as you keep your grow private and I mean private , keep the smell inside your grow area and don’t dispose of anything incriminating in your trash you will be fine. The authorities can’t just bust your door down for using more electricity. Turn them lights back on !