Reason I am asking this question: Been crypto-mining for 5 months now and moved into a new place. My rig setup isn't drawing TOO much power, we're talking less than 1200w (but it's running 24/7)

I don't want to get my door kicked down because the local Law Enforcement got tipped off I was growing pot or something. Just want to know if they can differentiate between a 1000w HPS Grow Light, and my ~1000w mining rig.

What kind of details can the electric company determine about the devices in your home that are running?

  • 1
    My .02 cents, 1200w = 10amps ... You'd need to be using much more constantly before any red flags go up. Many people use a lot of power... Electronics that stay warm off, fans, lighted decorations, hot tubs, pools, to name a few.. I could make a much longer list, some of which seems insignificant but all added together easily becomes many watts/amps. Heck all the smart switches in my house collectively draw 800 watts at rest, with literally everything off/unplugged (had a friendly bet on that, which is why we did the experiment).
    – Tyson
    Sep 17, 2017 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


The promise was that they would monitor your usage patterns in order to better customize your billing.

For instance, if you draw X amount of power during the day it will be more expensive than drawing the same power at night when the demand is lower.

The reality has turned out that they are not giving discounts for night power in the area where I live, but instead they use them so they don't have to get out of their cars to read them.

Presumably they use the data to determine how well their loads are distributed.

For example: Say they discover their feeder lines are running at over 80% consistently for a neighborhood then they might be able to localize an area to consider watching more closely for failure, or for replacement with larger or more cable.

Even without smart meters they have always had the capability of detecting large load changes at a house, like for grow rooms and the like. And no, they can't tell how that power is being used.

But nobody will kick down your door simply because of power utilization increases. They would need more than that for probable cause that a crime is being committed.

The worst you would want to be prepared for is a knock at the door.

Without a warrant you can stop them right there, or not even answer. That's totally within your rights.

Or, you can open the door and show off your cool gizmos so they can check you off their list of "places of interest.".

btw, your coffee pot draws almost that much when you brew a cuppa. And a space heater is like that, too. Grow rooms generally have multiple 1,000 watt lights and produce a bunch of heat. And when you get close to a grow operation it is difficult to miss the smell. Not to mention the foot traffic that the neighbors might report.

Last I heard, they say in most cities that pot is about their lowest priority as they see it becoming legal.

I recently read an article about California announcing that simply smelling MJ when they pull over a car is no longer considered probable cause for a search.

In any case, you're not breaking the law so I don't see cause for alarm.

This makes a great reference question for the database. Thanks for asking.

Good luck with your mining!

  • 1
    I'd upvote both you guys for answering with good information but I don't have enough rep yet on this stackexchange meta. As far as the grow-op worry, I know the electric usage is low for that, but, I do have a room that runs a little over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so, you know, if they did the infared temperature goggle check on my outside walls, you never knows what kind of strings they'd pull just to try to get another feather in their cap. Sep 16, 2017 at 2:32
  • 1
    California legalized it last year 57-43, a little gift from the last election cycle, and personal use and cultivation is legal now. (commercial trade awaits setup of a regulatory structure.) I'm not a partaker but it's breathing new life into old HPS/MH fixtures, they finally have electronic ballasts for them as a result of this demand. Sep 16, 2017 at 4:56

They cannot tell the difference especially with some of the new lights using switching power supplies. I don't think 1200w would even register. Most of the lamps like the new LEC draw 600-700 watts for the 1000w equivelent to 1000w mh lights and combinations of MH and HPS lights are used. Grow operations use many of these lights some spaced as close as 4 feet (we just set some green houses for veggies) but got some really good info from a pro canibus grower. So in short your power ussage is small and not really a concern I would worry about.


Actually Smart Meters are not smart. what they are is meters that have programmed microprocessors that produce information for utility companies and it is my experience that tells me they are highly accurate. I used to have customers complain about their bill after the installs in Texas and running power analysis tests on them proved they are more accurate than the old meters (not what our customers wanted to here).

That being said they are not able to tell what you are using your power on, just how much power you are using at any one time. The utilities wanted smart meters for the same reason Banks want ATM's. Because it eliminates employees by using wifi, or cell data to report your monthly totals, rather than to hire a bunch of meter readers to walk around and get the information. At most they simply have to drive by and capture the data.

It is also my belief that the other reason utilities wanted smart meters is to be able to charge you graduated (penalty) rates during the busiest times of the day/month. If you think this is the raving of a conspiracy lunatic, certain Utility Companies in Texas have already tried to get it past the PUC (public utility commision). It has been my experience that any time a Utility is trying to sell you something or trying to convince you of a good deal. Grab your wallet and take off in the opposite direction.

Sorry for the rant.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.