As the UK grapples with a cost of living crisis, the UKRPA Chairman sheds light on the risks associated with meter tampering and energy theft.
RECCo has published its Theft Estimation Methodology report, which puts the figure at up to 1069 GWh for gas and 2837 GWh for electricity per year. This equates to £1.4billion per year, dependent on the cost of electricity wholesale price movements. Read the whole report here:
UKRPA Chairman Glenn Sheern joined the BBCRadio4 You and Yours programme on Monday 13th June 2022 to discuss the growing concern around people tampering with gas and electric meters. With more videos appearing on social media showing people how to steal energy by tampering with meters, Glenn warns of the dangers and the reasons behind the increase in activity.
In September 2019, Grosvenor Services Group issued a consumer poll asking 1,000 UK billpayers about their attitudes towards the potential amnesty being considered by Ofgem. Following the closure of the poll, Grosvenor Services published an article in the Electrical Review outlining the responses received and detailing the associated benefits and costs that an amnesty would bring.
Grosvenor highlights the low consumer awareness around the safety risks associated with energy theft and confirms the importance of safety being at the forefront of the decision as to whether an amnesty should be implemented. The UKRPA Chairman also commented, confirming the intention for the Association to provide support to Ofgem and Members in this deliberation phase.
This is a great example of our Members taking positive action to increase the public’s awareness around energy theft and meter tampering. We welcome and encourage any other stories you may have which highlight similar messaging.
You can find the full article here.
On 18th July 2019, a British Gas Revenue Protection Officer discovered a cannabis farm in Handsworth. Support was provided by the local Police to dismantle the farm, which comprised of 50 plants worth thousands of pounds. The full story can be found here.
In another case, British Gas Officers received a tip-off of a cannabis cultivation being grown in a man’s property in Gillingham, through a tampered meter. British Gas acted to clear the cannabis cultivation promptly, and the individual was arrested and remains in custody. Please see here to access the full story.
On 9th July 2019, the Galway Daily Newspaper reported that Gas Networks Ireland has facilitated the enforcement of a significant fine in Galway for a gas meter tamper.
Galway District Court was informed that Gas Networks Ireland investigated the property of Ciaran Scully (Castlegar) and found that the gas supply had been illegal interfered with. Mr Scully pleaded guilty and the Court fined him €3,500.
Gas Networks Ireland issued a public warning to highlight the public danger of interfering with gas supplies, with the Networks Safety Manager, Owen Wilson, confirming, “A tampered meter is dangerous and creates a risk of a gas explosion which can result in serious injury or even death. Those who tamper with gas meters not only put themselves at risk, but also other occupants of the property, neighbours and members of the public.”
You can find the full story here.
The Daily Mirror has published an article regarding a disabled customer discovering an illegal cannabis farm in his basement. Investigation is being carried out into the activities of the customer’s caring assistant.
As the Supplier, British Gas’ Revenue Protection Unit attended the site after ascertaining the customer’s bills were exceptionally high due to the growing of the cannabis farm. The case has been ongoing since last year.
The story can be found here.
Please contact UKRPA@Gemserv.com if you have any questions.