Like others have said, they only use your electricity bill against you after you've already given them a reason to be suspicious
... odor control for instance is more important, if say, you have utility employees, solicitors, religious groups, or anyone else randomly calling on your house, and they detect an odor, that is much more likely to get you in trouble.
When you begin racking up a truly extravagant bill, and if after a few days they notice a spike and your projected usage is headed towards an excess of $1,000 within a single monthly cycle, often times they'll contact you just as a courtesy
, just to let you know they've detected a irregular draw, in case something is wrong with your house or wiring. They'll do this long before they are suspicious that you're doing anything illegal.
To give you an idea of what you should consider suspicious electric usage, and what you shouldn't
, just keep in mind that some a/c units use several thousand watts all on their own, not to mention heaters that use even a little more than that. Then there are the heaters for folks aquariums, and terrariums, people who cook several times per day using ovens that operate on a few thousand watts, versus those who only ever order out, power supplies for computer/s.... Some people only use three or four light bulbs, throughout their entire house or apartment, others turn on that many with the flick of a singe switch in their kitchen alone. Certain households are made up of minimalists, others don't mind leaving lights on and turning their heaters and aircons up.
Long story short, electric usage varies DRASTICALLY, from user to user.
Some growers operating on a much larger scale than you're planning, use less electricity, than non-growing folks who just don't bother ever shutting off their overhead lights in their garages and kitchens, and who don't mind running the a/c or heater when it's only a little warm or a little cool.
Pay your bill on time, and to cut down on costs, if you're using enough watts you can rig your ventilation and odor control so your grow room partially heats your house in the winter, and later on when it requires a powerful a/c, it helps to cool your home in the summer. This way you can waste less energy, and cut down on costs in other areas of your home.
Another tip; when moving into a new house or apartment, call the local electric company or provider and find out how much the last tenants used. By law, they are required to give you that information. This way, if you're really concerned, you can also try to keep within a certain range of the past/expected usage.
Edited by BadKittySmiles, 04 November 2011 - 12:24 AM.