Marijuana dealers consume more electricity each year than the previous one. But they don’t pay it. 95% of the plantations are illegally connected to the networkaccording to him chief inspector of the company Endesathe main energy distribution company, which adds that according to all indicators the rate of growth of clandestine ‘indoor’ cannabis crops in Spain is exponential.
The number of interventions that the main energy company will have carried out by the end of 2022 in collaboration with the police forces it will be 30% higher than in 2021. In the last three years, Internet punctures have grown by 70% and close to a third of those energy thefts they are to feed marijuana greenhouses. “And we are far from reversing this trend & rdquor ;, he maintains in an interview with EL PERIÓDICO in which he requests to appear without a name and surname.” It is a country problem.
For Endesa it is, above all, a problem of electrical fraud: ‘indoor’ marijuana plantations defraud as much electricity in Spain as the one consumed by a city like Palma de Mallorca. The nurseries that proliferate in industrial warehouses, housing estates or city flats replace sunlight with artificial light from a sodium bulb. Each of these lights, which oscillate between the 600 and the 1000 wattsconsume more electricity in a day than a normal family uses.
On 24 hours
These crops allow you to triple or quadruple the normal growth rate of a plant outdoors because, unlike sunlight, the light from the bulbs shines 24 hours a day. The dealers usually choose fast-growing seeds, which allows them to collect 3 to 4 crops per year. An incessant electrical fraud.
In a modest plantation there can be twenty light bulbs, which means – applying a rule of three to what was previously stated about the family and the light bulb – that it defrauds the same amount of electricity that an entire block of a district like the Eixample consumes. And when the media reports that the police have dismantled a plantation with 2,000 or 3,000 plantsimplicitly alludes to an electrical cost similar to that of an entire neighborhood.
If for Endesa it is a business problem, for the citizens who pay an electricity bill that has not stopped rising due to the ukrainian war should be almost staff. Even more, if possible, when many businesses have a hard time raising the blind every morning and at the gates of a winter that some families will have to face without heating. In this context, imagine that you could be sharing a landing with a neighbor who steals as much electricity as the entire staircase and doesn’t use it for heating –some 150 euros per month– or to open a cafeteria –more than thousand euros per month– but to traffic marijuana, it is irritating.
In some areas the figures are especially bloody. According to the ACN news agency on Thursday, which cites data from Endesa itself, 85% of electricity that consumes the neighborhood Gunpowder Fountain, in the outskirts of Girona, is disappointed and does not go through any accountant. The difference between the apartments that have a contract and those that have electricity is abysmal. Of the 642 supply points that the neighborhood has, 301 are not regularized (47%) and consume up to six times more light than the rest. The territorial manager of Endesa in Girona, Marc Ruaix, explains to ACN that having oversized the network has prevented fraud from resulting in continuous power outages – as was the case before – but warns that the situation will have a limit. “We are facing a social problem that we must face with the City Council and the security forces to prevent it from escalating,” he affirms.
Traffickers can illegally hook up by tapping into the general network through a streetlight or underground cable. Or they can also do it with a contract and bypass the counter. They are often sloppy fixes that entail risk of electrocution for the offenders –or for the neighbors if they occur load taps through the ground or water pipes – and fire. They also cause the protection system to trip and supply cuts are constant. In a report published in this newspaper in 2020, the Mossos d’Esquadrathe Urban Police of Barcelonathe Barcelona fire brigadethe Generalitat fire brigade Y Endesa They already warned that clandestine interior plantations seriously threaten the integrity of the neighbors.