Indoor Cannabis Growing Accounted For About 3 Percent Of The States Electricity Consumption, Or The Equivalent Of 1 Million Homes, According To A 2012 Study Cited By The California Public Utilities Commission.

In the power industry, small demand increases can be significant. The Energy Department forecasts electricity consumption in the country will grow 1 percent a year or less through 2040. When Colorado legalized marijuana, power use at the states biggest utility rose 1 percent to 2 percent, according to Xcel Energy, a supplier in the state. Similar gains were reported in Washington and Oregon, where regulators were expecting the pot growers to consume enough power for a small city. We were thrilled to get that much load growth from one new Medical marijuana industry, said Mark Stutz, a spokesman for Xcels Public Service Co. of Colorado. That just doesnt happen to utilities. Evidence from neighboring states prompted California, which adopted its legalization laws in November, to host a workshop last month on how to handle the impending strain on the electric grid. Indoor cannabis growing accounted for about 3 percent of the states electricity consumption, or the equivalent of 1 million homes, according to a 2012 study cited by the California Public Utilities Commission. But some of the gains since legalization didnt last. In Tacoma, Washington, the municipal utility was preparing for a surge in consumption that proved much smaller than expected, said Chris Gleason, a spokeswoman for the city. At one growing facility, where demand was supposed to reach 12 megawatts, the operation is about half the size that was planned and using just 1.3 megawatts.

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