Police destroyed almost 5,300 marijuana plantations which were illegally tapping electricity last year, a slight increase on 2012.
The figures come from the Dutch grid operators, who say the 140 million kilowatt hours of power stolen by these plantations is ‘only a fraction’ of the actual total.
They suspect marijuana plantations are using one billion kilowatt hours of power a year. This is ‘as much energy as all the households in The Hague’, the organisation said in a statement.
The grid operators say the downturn in the housing market has led more home owners to rent their properties to people who use them to start a plantation.
The total cost of the stolen electricity is some €200m, the grid operators say. Of this €70m is revenue for the power companies and €130m lost taxes. Consumers and companies end up picking up the lost revenue bill.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.