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Unlikely California Electricity Hog Could Green the Grid in November

Solar salespeople say that to get more power on the grid, they look for people who would more likely have an urgent financial reason to go solar: people who use a lot of electricity. It is more satisfying helping a real energy hog get off the fossil grid. It is also easier.


Oddly enough – the most environmentally aware people, who are super frugal, and have installed efficiency devices – and have tiny electricity bills as a result – therefor have no really compelling financial reason to change. This is why many solar estimators tend to discount their much greater interest in being green. But one kind of super green greenie proves the exception.

It’s not that the energy-frugal don’t save money by going solar: they just don’t save nearly as much money; and they actually have a lower rate of solar adoption in the end.

On the other hand, here in Northern California, big energy users pay very dearly for their usage. Someone who has high usage actually pays so much more for each and every kilowatt hour than their frugal neighbors – that it can mean a difference between paying 11 cents and almost 50 cents for every kilowatt hour.

The person who owns an aquarium, or bought lots of big screen TVs, or has a swimming pool (which must be pumped, by law; or mosquito control officials will fine them) or is on a dialysis machine, or lives where the heat is unbearable without A/C: these are the kinds of people who use more power and pay much more for it. They are the ones who have the biggest savings and clean up the grid the most when they switch to solar.

But here’s one big energy user you might not have thought of – who would have a real financial reason to go solar.

An indoor marijuana farmer is a huge energy hog.

If the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana growers in California passes, we may see a side benefit: cleaning the state grid. The energy use in Humboldt County has skyrocketed. There are so many indoor pot farms running expensive all-day gro-lights in the county.

If marijuana growing is made legal in November, those farms would naturally be moved outside into the sunshine where nature’s gro-light comes free. And that will green the California grid.

Image Flikr user Linzinator

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Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


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