Smart meters and reptile breeders

Interesting article in yesterday’s Globe and Mail about how smart meters help reduce energy consumption in apartment buildings where individual electricity use has not previously been metered. But what struck me was that how reptile breeders — along with marijuana growers — were held up as an example of profligate energy users:

Mr. Stewart has found apartments filled with illicit marijuana cultivators, multiple video duplicators and even catering businesses. “There’s no shortage of examples you could find in certain buildings of folks who are growing dope,” he says.
But the strangest discovery was a reptile farm tucked into a Toronto townhouse complex.
“The resident was breeding reptiles. Iguanas were just one thing. He had alligators,” says Mr. Stewart, owner of a company that installs meters and then bills customers for electricity use.
People doing unusual things risk revealing themselves through their electricity bills, he says. Marijuana growers and reptile breeders use a lot of lights, and their bills are sky high. The same goes for caterers, whose ovens are “literally being used all day.”

A little close to home, that. Interesting factoid from the article: “in a typical building, the top 10 per cent of electricity consumers use 25 per cent of the building’s electricity.”