The Bay area has been experiencing an ongoing electricity problem that has largely flown under its residents radar.
However now Senator Bill Nelson is taking action against the areas growing number of marijuana grow houses and their illegal use of city electricity.
Power companies like Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative accuse these pot growers of stealing electricity. Since 2006, there have been 186 cases of growers stealing power from Withlacoochee Electric.
“That electricity is being paid for by somebody,” Senator Nelson said. “That’s in the rate base that all the other rate payers are paying.”
Sen. Nelson is working with law enforcement in rural counties like Pasco, Hernando and Citrus, where hopes to then coordinate with the Federal government to address the issue.
Since 2013, 36 grow operations have been busted in Hernando County and 19 of them were diverting electricity.
Withlacoochee River Electric says they have lost about $3.3 million in revenue since 2006, mostly due to diverted electricity to grow houses.