Energy theft affects everyone
Energy theft is something that affects all of us. The impacts of energy theft range from potential safety hazards to increased energy costs. If you become aware of a situation where you suspect energy theft or meter tampering, you can help by contacting us.
Energy theft is a public safety issue. In most instances where energy is being stolen, dangerous situations have been discovered. Attempting to bypass or tamper with gas or electric meters is dangerous and can result in serious injury or death from fire, explosion or electrocution. There are shock and fire hazards not only to the thief, but also innocent family members, friends, neighbors and Duke Energy employees. Even if these situations do not occur at the time of the theft, the meter is often left in an unsafe condition that is potentially dangerous to others.
When gas or electric energy is unlawfully consumed, the reality is that they are stealing from everyone who is an honest, paying customer. Just as shoplifters drive up the price of merchandise you purchase, those who tamper with meters to get “free” energy drive up your energy costs.
Reducing energy theft
Duke Energy is serious about protecting our customers from the dangers and increased costs caused by energy theft. Our employees are trained to detect signs of meter tampering and energy theft. They can also use computer analysis of metering data to further determine energy theft. Those individuals caught stealing energy are subject to immediate disconnection of service, civil collection proceedings and the possibility of criminal prosecution that can result in a fine, imprisonment or both.
How you can help
Anonymous tips from customers are an important means to investigating potential energy theft.
If you notice any of the following, it could indicate meter tampering and/or energy theft:
- A person other than a Duke Energy employee working on a meter.
- A person other than a Duke Energy employee digging near underground lines or tampering with overhead power lines.
- Someone bragging about how low their energy consumption or energy bills are because of by-passing their meter.
If you notice any suspicious activity or a meter that shows signs of tampering, you may report the suspicious activity anonymously on-line. Please use the Energy Theft Reporting Form link at the top of this page.
Working together, we can see that energy theft is curtailed, thereby reducing the risk of danger to the public as well as minimizing energy costs for all of our customers.