Electricity theft: Not worth the risk

Electricity theft: Not worth the risk

Every year, energy cooperatives across the country cope with thieves—folks who deliberately tamper with their meter to steal power.

Meter tampering graphic

Not only is this practice extremely dangerous, it’s a serious crime that could result in hefty fines and jail time.

Power surging through a compromised meter can cause an electrical catastrophe, according to the Cooperative Research Network, a division of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

A short circuit could produce an arc flash bright enough to cause blindness and powerful enough to launch fragments of shrapnel-like, red-hot debris. Serious injury or death from electrocution, explosion, or fire often results from meter tampering.

Electricity theft is not a victimless crime. Rock Energy Cooperative loses revenue and expends resources to investigate meter tampering. These costs are then passed on to the entire membership.

National estimates vary, but The Washington Post has reported that between $1 billion and $10 billion worth of electricity is stolen from utilities annually.

Since everyone pays for lost power, please let us know if you suspect meter tampering. Call 866-752-4550 to report possible theft of service. All information can be given anonymously. 

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