After the cost of the light bulbs, this is going to be your biggest expense, and arguably your longest-term, continual cost for growing. It’s also an area that you are going to need to manage carefully from a security standpoint, because once you start the growing, you are going to be using a good deal more electricity than ever before. If you’ve been in trouble in the past and authorities have reason to suspect you, then you should think twice, but for the grower who is minding their own business and is sure to pay their bill completely and on time, there shouldn’t be much worry. Look at it as an investment and sunk cost on your crop. Don’t get involved with something stupid such as stealing electricity. The numbers on the meter won’t add up, and you’ll arouse the suspicion of the power company. Once people start asking questions, the game is up. Also, look into discount programs such as the C.A.R.E program with SDGE, you could save an enormous amount of money with this.
From a safety standpoint you need to make sure you are not going to overload your power circuits. Depending on how many lights you will be running, you are going to have to calculate to see if you need to run some more cables to your breaker box. Don’t try “winging this” area. Make a calculation based on the rating of your pre-existing equipment versus how much power you are going to be pulling down on your light array, to run your AC, charcoal canisters, vents, pumps and fans etc. You’ve got a good deal of equipment to be mindful of, so be sure you’ve got the power in place to handle it. Blowing out your power or potentially overloading and causing a fire which jeopardizes you or your neighbors are easily avoidable catastrophes if you take the time to plan ahead for the right setup.
With electricity, there are what we call Amp’s and Watts, and Volts. Watts = Amps x Volts. but more importantly, if you live in a house that has a 100 amp main breaker, then you can run about 8 1000 watt lights at 110volts. However, you could double the amount of lights you were running in the house by simply converting the usage of electricity into 220 volts. This is done by adding 220 volt circuits and rewiring the outside main panel. Ask your electrician about running 220 volts if you are looking to grow a lot indoors.