Energy market regulator Ofgen is considering an amnesty for tenants and landlords, amongst others, to own up to ‘stealing’ energy through tampered meters.
If the amnesty goes ahead, the individuals will not be punished, whereas the penalty in other circumstances could be as severe as a five year prison sentence.
“The dangers of energy theft are not universally understood. The energy sector should work harder to educate communities on the potentially-fatal risks that meter tampering can present if an energy theft amnesty is to garner public support and be successful” says Lloyd Birkhead, managing director of debt collection company Grosvenor Services Group.
“The regulator will undoubtedly be weighing up the benefits and drawbacks of this decision in the coming months – so it will be interesting to see whether the process is driven forward. What’s apparent is that more education must be provided across the board” he says.
Birkhead claims that tampered meters can in extreme circumstances present a danger to the public and also add an average £20 to every household bill each year.