Energy theft or meter tampering is when someone deliberately alters their electricity or gas meter so it does not measure their usage accurately.
This is a criminal offence, and can lead to a fine and up to five years in prison. It is extremely dangerous, and tampering with someone's energy supply can put the safety of people in the property and surrounding area at high risk.
The theft of energy costs customers around £400 million annually, as these costs are passed on in higher charges. Tampering with the equipment is very dangerous, as there can be a danger of shock or fire. This is a risk to both life and property.
This theft is an offence and is noted in the Theft Act 1968, section 13 Abstracting Electricity, which states that a person who dishonestly uses without due authority or dishonesty causes to be wasted or diverted any electricity on conviction or indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
Please note that making a false allegation of tampering or abstraction is a criminal offence, and is referred to as attempting to pervert the course of public justice. This is stated as "where a person deliberately makes a false allegation about an offence in order to have a person arrested." There is also section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 relating to wasteful employment of the police. These both may result in either fines or imprisonment.
We are working alongside our regulator Ofgem, stayenergysafe and Crimestoppers to try and stop it, however, we need your help.
How do I spot the signs of meter tampering?
Watch this video from Crimestoppers on how to spot signs of meter tampering.
How do I report energy theft?
If you spot signs of energy theft you can report it to:
You can report energy theft to Crimestoppers by visiting their website or calling 0800 555 111.
This is a charity that works with Crimestoppers, Ofgem and energy suppliers to stop energy theft. You can call them on 0800 023 2777.