How to Reduce Electricity Costs When Growing Marijuana
Growing cannabis is a great hobby to get into, but like any hobby, it comes at a cost. Water, equipment, soil, are all one-time costs we all have to bite the bullet on, and even then, when it all adds up it can get pretty expensive. However there are some costs that are subject to continuous payment. For the most part, it comes in the form of an energy bill every month. Cannabis growing is directly correlated to your energy bill because the yield is dependant on how much energy went into the grow. Typically, indoor grows tend to produce higher energy bill when you take into account the energy that goes into trying to recreate outdoor growing conditions indoors. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in. That said, how do you make the most of your grow while still trying to keep the energy costs low? We are going to discuss some general tips and tricks you can use to keep the energy cost low while still making the most out of your grow.
There are online resources you can use to calculate your estimated energy costs. By entering your equipment data and how long they get used for throughout the day, it will give you an approximate energy cost for the month. These are good resources to use to help you manage your costs better but you won't save money just using these resources on their own. A little forward thinking and care can help you nix the little habits that add up and cost you at the end of the month.
Energy consumption is a big topic to cover because their are many aspects to the project that require electricity to be used at varying levels.
Lighting - your light will probably be the most notable energy consumer. Depending on wattage, varying types of light will differ in how much electricity they use but this alone may not determine how large your electricity bill is going to be at the end of the month. Lighting is responsible for how your plant develops so if your looking to maximize the efficiency of your lighting periods some planning ahead never hurts. Before you run into a grow store and buy the first light you find, decide what kind of lighting you want to use. Different types of lighting have their individual pros and cons so it helps to make schematics of your grow project before you begin purchasing equipment. Understand what kind of lighting cycles you are going to be using and purchase a light that allows you to maximize its efficiency for each stage of the cycle. Plan your lighting cycles on to coincide with non-peak billing times. For example, if you are on a 12/12 lighting cycle, consider planning your project so your plants receive 12 hours of light at night when the rates are cheaper and temperatures are lower.
Make the most out of the space in your grow tent. Some lighting rigs may not be set-up well enough to provide your plants with the lighting they need. In this case, we want to avoid paying to light the walls. Consider purchasing a grow tent with a reflective interior lining. This encourages light to be evenly spread across your plants. If you are building your own grow space, allow for the light to be spread across the plants evenly as you want to be getting the most bang for your buck. Scrog can also be a useful tool if you are looking to increase the yield capacity and maximize the amount of yield you are getting for the amount of money your paying your light at the end of each month.
ventilation/exhaust - running your ventilation or exhaust system is another hefty energy consumer. As stated earlier, you might consider running your lighting periods on off-peak energy hours to take advantage of cheaper rates and cooler temperature at night. You may want to look into automating your ventilation system so that it coordinates with outside temperature. For example, a transformer will allow you to adjust the wattage your fan is using depending on how cool the outside climate it. Obviously if it's a cooler day, you might not need as much energy to maintain the heat emitted by your lighting system. Growers are finding all sorts of solutions to automating their grows. Some are even able to control their lights from smartphones. This would require an advanced knowledge on the technological aspects of the grow but can be worth learning about if you are a techy that wants ultimate control over every aspect of th grow.
Managing unnecessary electricity consumption - It's possible that your parents may have been on your case about leaving the lights on when you were not using them. As annoying as it was they may have been on to something. Considering how much electricity needs to go into giving you a successful needs it may be worth considering the energy that is not going into the project. Remembering things like turning off the tv before you go to sleep, unplugging the cords you are not using, and turning off the lights when you are not in the room are all viable ways to save on energy costs.
Size your grow - Knowing how big your grow project is going to be is a great way to understand what is going to have to go into it to make the project happen. Some provinces in Canada have a limit to how many plants you are allowed to grow, but depending on your region this can change. In any case it's better to plan ahead and understand why you are growing and what you are going to accomplish with your cannabis once it has been harvested. Obviously, larger projects are going to cost more so if your goal is for personal use, you can find a way to grow that fits your personal budget accordingly.
Taking advantage of outdoor growing - For many reasons, indoor growing may be the viable option for some growers because of climate or environmental reasons. However, if you are able to take advantage of summer months for a grow you can look to save on energy costs that way. Outdoor and indoor growing each have their pros and cons but that is no reason not to gain some experience doing both. When you grow outdoors you are saving on electricity because nature provides the lighting and ventilation for you. Cannabis is generally a resilient weed so it will find a way to thrive no matter what the conditions. You should also consider doing some planning ahead so you may tackle the obstacles as they come.
Growing cannabis is a good way to gain some expert knowledge on what cannabis is. However, like all things it comes at a financial cost. Optimizing your energy flow and reducing costly waste is a great way to make the most out of your electricity bill at then end of the month. Unfortunately, your electric bill never seems to go away so it only makes sense to make the most of it and get every bang for your buck. Planning your grow project ahead of time and lifestyle changes are a good way to keep the cost down. Like all things managing your costs is a job in itself so you will only get out what you put into it. Consider some of these electric saving techniques to get the most out of your grow without paying an arm and a leg on the electricity bill.