Calculating Electricity Costs for your Home Cannabis Grow
Home cannabis grows can get expensive, especially when it comes to electricity. It is ideal to choose the most energy efficient light fixture and bulb to keep electricity costs down. It is also important to use quality equipment without sacrificing performance. We’ll go over how to calculate potential electricity costs as well as tips to help keep costs down in this article.
Formula to Calculate Electricity Costs
Before receiving your utility bill, you can have an estimate of how much it’s going to be. Every electric company charges different rates.
Take the electricity rate times the number of hours used times the number of watts. Watts are measured by 1,000s for bill calculations, so measure the number you get by 1,000 first. This simple equation will give you the estimate.
To calculate the watts and hours of electricity used, visit your exterior meter. Ask the local electric company when they read the meters so you will know when to start your calculations from.
Depending on the size of your grow, the cost of electricity can be as much or more as the bill of your entire household.
Grow lights aren’t the only thing that use electricity in your space, so the cost is also for fans, pumps and anything else plugged into an electrical socket in the grow space.
The heating and cooling system used to regulate temperature throughout the home should be inspected to ensure that it is running properly. You should also check the windows of the space for leaks. Efficiency in your main system helps a lot. Being able to properly regulate temperature in that space is ideal to keep energy costs down.
Choose energy efficient fixtures for your grow lights. The other items that can be energy efficient are your bulbs, fans and pumps. Always check the packaging for energy-efficiency ratings before you purchase them.
One reason LED lights are ideal for cannabis grows is that they are energy efficient. With normal use, your LED lights can last 10 years or more.
Examples of average monthly costs per equipment type:
- 150W costs an average of $20 per month when using MH or HPS lights
- Advanced Platinum P150 LED lights at 87W costs about $12 per month
- Clip on fans, 6-inch diameter – costs about $3 per month
- 6-inch exhaust fans may cost more than lighting at about $23 monthly
- Air pumps are a minimal cost at less than $1 per month
- Water chillers with 1/13HP cost about $35 monthly
These costs don’t seem too bad. The cost of using air conditioning and/or heat is where it gets expensive. For example, a small 7,500 BTU window A/C unit may cost you $61/mo. The same size unit for heating would cost nearly double at about $114/monthly.
The cost of a grow operation is important to keep track of. If you notice that some components are a little higher than what you think they should be, take a look at your equipment. You may need to make more energy efficient choices, which can cost a little more out-of-pocket. However, the long-term benefit to using energy efficient rated equipment is the cost savings in the future.