RecoverIR™ Blog

Discussion of Discovery & Recovery of Lost Energy
Prepaid Smart-Meters for Energy Thieves Could Cut Costs of Bill Paying Customers and Increase Safety
Published by R. G. Lucas in Energy Theft • 2/1/2011 11:58:36 AM
What Should Electric and Natural Gas Utilities do Once Energy Thieves are Found?

Based upon RecoverIR discussions within the last 6 months with many electric utilities and many natural gas local distribution companies, several common threads seems to be emerging which could be significantly mitigated if electric and gas utilities simply began to install prepaid meters similar to those of First Choice.

The common threads emerging from RecoverIR conversations with electric and gas utilities include (but are not limited to):
• “We don’t have any budget or resources to go after all of the energy thieves.”
• “Even though we offer programs to allow low-income residences to pay less, we have difficulty getting the thieves to sign-up for these programs.”
• “As soon as we shut off a residential energy thief, it is only a short period of time before they are stealing energy again!”
• “We don’t want to be perceived as the utility which allows the elderly and low-income families to freeze to death!”
• “Yes, the bill paying customers are subsidizing the energy thieves!”

Since many utilities are having difficulty gaining approval for smart-meter programs and the installation of a smart-meter in the residence, apartment complex, or commercial business caught stealing energy can pay for itself in a few months, then we believe utilities across America should seriously consider the installation of prepaid meters similar to those of First Choice.

Tell us what you think about what should be done once utilities find energy thieves.