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Stay Energy Safe! Anonymous and safe reporting service to stop meter tampering

As people and businesses struggle with the cost of living crisis, the temptation to go rogue rises. 

Electricians who visit and work on commercial and residential properties can be the first ones to spot when something is wrong, such as when energy is being stolen.

Last year, research showed that 43 percent of electricians and gas engineers were asked by customers about tampering with meters to make them run slowly (according to Direct Line Business Insurance). 

Equally, the survey found that nearly a third of electricians have seen signs of tampering. 

Real-life scenarios

Meter tampering is extremely dangerous and can cause electric shocks, severe burns, electrocutions, house fires, and gas explosions. It puts people who work and live in the property, and surrounding area, in danger.

An example of such a case relates to qualified engineer Colin Naylor who worked on the electrics for a local pub which had already bypassed the meter.

Despite his expertise, the outdoor lights he installed led to a fatal electric shock on seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell. Colin faced trial and was later jailed. 

In another example, a son living with his mother caused her tragic death after arranging for the meter to be bypassed so he could save some money on electricity bills. This led to electrical sparks that caused a fire. Consequently, his mother died due to smoke inhalation.

Dishonest electrcians 

Anyone attempting to bypass meters is putting their own and others' lives at risk. They are also putting those engineers, who have to repair and replace equipment and wiring, in danger. 

However, the issue does not end with some unscrupulous electricians ignoring the law and safety concerns. 

Some business owners and landlords, often in the hospitality and retail sector, have been known to tamper with meters to run their businesses more efficiently, thus putting customers, tenants, and employees at risk, living or working in a ticking time bomb. 

Signs to spot 

The signs of meter tampering often include unusual wiring, damaged casing, sparking, burn marks, and meter dials that do not move despite electricity being used. To protect yourself and innocent people, you can learn to recognise the signs of electricity theft here.

Importance of speaking up 

If you feel uncomfortable confronting customers directly, Stay Energy Safe offers a 24/7 reporting service via an online form here  or by phone at 0800 023 2777.

Stay Energy Safe, operated by the independent charity Crimestoppers, provides a secure platform for reporting energy theft. 

Once Stay Energy Safe receive the report, they check and sanitise the information to ensure your anonymity and send it to the relevant energy supplier so that the case can be investigated. 

Being vigilant and proactive, by looking out for possible energy theft or meter tampering, helps ensure everyone – residents, customers, and colleagues – stays safe. 

If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't. More electricians speaking up means more lives saved and fewer tragedies.

ECA supports its Members with extensive information and advice across a broad range of contractor health and safety issues. Visit this page to find out more.