February 2022: Power Theft

Thieves sometimes think of it as a crime that won’t hurt anybody. Someone illegally hooks into a power supply, hooks up a line that has been disconnected, or tampers with a meter to avoid recording electricity usage. The truth is that tampering with electrical equipment or attempting to steal electric power carries the potential to harm many people. The innocent consumers on the same line and utility personnel that work on those lines are all at risk when someone tampers with electricity or electrical equipment.

An overload of electricity could result in extremely high voltages that may damage the appliances of paying customers. Excessive current that is not safeguarded by a fuse is especially dangerous. In emergency situations such as fires, power has to be shut off to help firefighters and emergency medical personnel to enter a building safely. If lines have been interfered with illegally, the lines could remain energized, endangering the lives of the first responders.

From a reliability standpoint, illegal connections to power sources and attempts to divert metering devices can overload the system, cause interruptions, and compromise power quality.

CEL&P urges everyone to help prevent and reduce power theft:

  • Notify CEL&P immediately at 765-362-1900 if you know of an illegally connected consumer.
  • Do not cut the seal on your meter base or tamper with your own meter for any reason.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activities to CEL&P.

Everyone is affected by power theft, and detecting and reporting illegal activity will help reduce the price paid.

For more electrical safety information, visit celp.com and SafeElectricity.org.