With the number of cases of energy theft on the increase, efforts are being ramped up to stop offenders rigging meters and diverting energy from the grid. Stealing energy isn’t just a matter of monetary theft, but can have detrimental consequences for the building’s occupants, increasing the risk of electrical fire, gas leaks and explosions.
To raise awareness of the dangers posed by stealing energy, here we take an in-depth look at energy theft, its consequences and how you can identify and report it if you suspect it’s taking place in your building.
The simplest form of energy theft is when a meter is tampered with so it no longer records actual consumption, in an attempt to reduce energy bills. This usually involves bypassing the meter so energy can be used without it being logged correctly.
A growing number of commercial and domestic energy users are taking huge risks while tampering their gas and electricity meters to ultimately try and reduce their annual energy bill.
This is deeply concerning, particularly when you consider the fatal consequences of tampering with an energy meter. It’s astonishing that individuals are willing to risk their lives, and the lives of others, to steal gas and power for potentially cheaper energy bills.
However, as energy prices continue to rise, so too does the number of suspected cases of energy theft. Statistics show that 150,000 energy theft cases are investigated each year, with around 1,500 people charged with gas and electricity theft offences.
As you’d expect, the consequences of energy theft are far-reaching, particularly when you consider the aspect of safety. Here, we list the potential effects of stealing gas and electricity.
Given the serious safety implications of a tampered energy meter, it’s important that you know how to identify cases of energy theft, and understand where to report any suspicious activity. Here are a few tips on identifying gas and electricity theft, and how you can report it.
While it can be difficult to spot the signs of electricity theft, here are a few things to look out for:
Like electricity theft, the signs of gas theft are hard to spot. Here are things to look out for:
If you suspect energy theft on your premises or in a neighbouring property, you must report it. You can do so anonymously by calling the stayenergysafe reporting line on 0800 023 2777, or using the service’s online form.
Powered by Crimestoppers and supported by OFGEM, stayenergysafe is a campaign to stop meter cheaters in the UK, who put lives at risk to avoid paying energy bills. To find out more about the campaign and its mission, visit stayenergysafe.co.uk or call 0800 023 2771.
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