Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Barrie Advance, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Janis Ramsay
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Although it takes a lot of TLC and electricity to grow hardy marijuana
plants, many grow-op horticulturalists have found a way to bypass the
hydro box and, therefore, the hydro bills.

Not only does this tampering cut down on costs, it means that the
hydro company doesn't become suspicious of increased energy use - a
telltale sign of possible illegal activity.

Daniele Gauvin, spokesperson with Hydro One, said the company now has
an investigation team in place to track down energy thieves.

"Power theft is illegal and our Theft of Power Investigation Team
looks for anomalies," said Gauvin. "Thieves either manipulate the
meter itself, to record the wrong information, or they bypass the
meter altogether by connecting on the live feed before the meter."

Hydro staff works closely with police, including Orillia OPP, to
investigate suspicious activity. The company's been called quite a few
times to shut off power to houses containing suspected grow-op.

"Very often people who are stealing power are engaged in other illegal
activities, for example, grow-ops."

One way of tampering with a hydro meter was found online. It takes two
magnets, one bigger than the other, some distilled water, an old a/c
adaptor, electrical tape and a knife. Together, the items are used to
slow the spinning of the meter's dial.

The other way is to bypass the system altogether, cutting into the
hydro feed before it enters the meter. Working with live power can be
dangerous, resulting in death or serious injury if electrocuted, said
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin