Think a meter has been tampered with? Energy Theft

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As an experienced supplier of energy, SEFE Energy understands the critical role energy plays in the daily functions of organisations. Energy theft is a far-reaching issue that affects businesses across various sectors, impacting both their safety, bottom line, and the overall efficiency of operations.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of energy theft, exploring what it entails, how to detect it, steps to report it, and crucially, strategies to prevent it. This information is vital for those managing a business’s energy supply, providing them with the knowledge needed to safeguard it from the detrimental effects of energy theft.

What is energy theft?

Energy theft, also known as meter tampering or meter fraud, occurs when individuals or businesses manipulate their energy supply to enable them to consume energy without it being properly measured and recorded. This illicit practice not only poses a significant safety risk but also for businesses, energy theft translates to higher operational costs, distorted financial forecasts, and potential disruptions in service delivery.

A common form of energy theft involves making a new unauthorised connection from an existing customers supply without their knowledge. Another common method involves bypassing the energy meter altogether by tampering with the equipment that is designed to measure the gas or electricity being used by a building. This can be achieved by installing wiring or pipes that bypass the meter entirely, sometimes using items as unsafe as hosepipes or bicycle inner tubes.

Alternatively, those looking to getting around the costs of energy may tamper with the meter directly by altering cogs that measure the energy being used so the meter registers less energy than is actually being consumed.

All forms of energy theft place an undue burden on honest energy consumers but also jeopardises the reliability of the energy infrastructure and potentially the safety of both the party undertaking the theft but also other individuals and businesses.

How to report energy theft

As a first step, businesses should get in immediate touch with their energy supplier to report any suspicions of energy theft. The supplier will conduct an initial investigation and advise on the next course of action.

Alternately if you don’t know who your Supplier is or you wish to remain anonymous and you suspect energy theft, it is essential to report the issue promptly to Stay Energy Safe, an organisation set up by Crimestoppers, with all information being confidential and anonymous. Reporting not only protects the business from financial losses but also contributes to maintaining the integrity and safety of the energy supply chain.

The following steps outline the process of reporting energy theft:

Provide Detailed Information: When reporting energy theft, it is crucial to provide as much detailed information as possible. This includes any evidence of irregularities, unexpected drops in consumption, or other indicators that suggest theft may be occurring

Cooperate with Investigations: Businesses should fully cooperate, providing access to relevant areas and information to facilitate a thorough investigation

Maintain a Record: Keeping a record of all communications, including emails, phone calls, and any documents exchanged.

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