Theft of electricity
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Theft of electricity is the criminal practice by stealing electric power. It is a crime and punishable by heavy fines and, in some cases, imprisonment.
The most basic method of stealing electricity is a direct wire-connection to a main power route passing by a house or shop so that electricity can flow to the consumer without crossing the electric meter installed by a governmental agency which is responsible for providing electrical services to customers. Other methods may include opening the meter itself, without damaging its seals and reversing the dials, a complicated procedure that requires expert skill.
There are various types of electrical power theft done in all over the world. Huge amounts of theft of power is done by tapping from line or bypassing the energy meter. According to a study, 80% of total theft detected all over the world is from dwelling places and 20% from commercial and industrial premises. The various types of electrical power theft are as follows.
- Direct Hooking From Line
- Bypassing the Energy Meter
- Injecting Foreign Elements into the Energy Meter
- Drilling Holes in Electromechanical Meter
Direct Hooking from Line
It is the most used method for theft of power. 80% of total power theft all over the world is done by direct tapping from line. The consumer taps into a direct power line from a point ahead of the energy meter. This energy source therefore is unmeasured in its consumption and procured with or without switches.
Bypassing the Energy Meter
In this method the input terminal and output terminal of the energy meter has been shorted by a wire. So energy cannot be registered in the energy meter.
Injecting Foreign Element into the Energy Meter
Sometimes skilled individuals inject foreign elements such as transistors, resistors or IC chips into the electrical meter which causes a lower consumption of electricity. Also some meters are manipulated with a remote control circuit by installing the circuit inside the meter which can be operated remotely and the meter can be slowed down at any time consumer desires. If someone tests the meter for its accuracy by external inspection,it always found correct unless the remote is turned on.
Drilling Holes in Electromechanical Meter
Drilling holes is a visible type of manipulating an electrical meter. This type of tampering is done to Electromechanical types meters. The individual inserts foreign material inside the meter to obstruct the free movement of the rotating disc.