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Energy Theft is ticking time bomb for rental sector - claim

Anonymous reports of energy theft have skyrocketed by 62% since 2021, Crimestoppers’ figures reveal. 

In 2023 alone, the charity received 11,552 reports of energy theft, the highest number ever recorded.

Stay Energy Safe, a service powered by the charity Crimestoppers, appeals to everyone to step forward if they have concerns to help combat this dangerous and escalating crisis. The charity aims to keep people and communities safe from the effects of energy crime, by increasing awareness and encouraging people to report it 100% anonymously, if they suspect it is happening.


Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, says: “Tampering with your electricity meter risks death by electrocution or fire. It is also illegal, so you could end up in prison. Don’t risk your life or that of your family by stealing energy.”

She cites the case of a London landlord who was sentenced to nine months in prison and fined £90,000 after tampering with energy meters in his 22 rented properties. 

The charity says that as gas and electricity bills remain high, the temptation to save money and break the law is likely to rise regardless of the consequences. This comes after the energy bills support scheme ended in March 2023 and the recent price cap increase in January of this year. 

Even though the price cap is set to decrease from April 2024, Rudd is concerned that the standing charge will increase which means that people will pay more regardless of how much energy they use.

David Crawley from Crimestoppers says: “For some, with the increasing cost of energy, there may be the temptation to bypass or tamper with their meter to cut costs. This can put loved ones, neighbours, colleagues, customers and those in the surrounding community in grave danger.  Innocent victims could suffer the consequences, so we’re appealing to anyone tempted to cut costs through tampering with their energy meters, for the sake of saving money, to think twice.”

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    Two words…… Natural selection ☠️☠️

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    The high Standing Charges are also a form of theft and need abolishing.

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    if the suppliers actually read meters occasionally, as they are supposed to do they would pick up on tampering!

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    I'm not surprised there's energy theft with the price of energy these days.

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    I like the idea, as in some countries, where a certain amount of electricity is free and then after this it is charged at a higher rate so the poor can be careful with what they use and have very small bills.


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