Ofgem has put forward new proposals which aim to combat electricity theft across the UK, a problem which currently costs customers £200m each year.
Allegedly it is estimated a third of which is stolen by cannabis farms.
The new rules would force utility suppliers to detect and investigate problems. Currently there are up to 25,000 cases per year, most of which are due to tampering with electricity meters.
Ofgem’s proposals include:
- Setting up a code of practice of how investigations are carried out.
- Coordinated efforts between utility suppliers, the home office and police.
- A 24 hour hotline to report suspicious activity.
- For power companies to share best practices for identifying and tackling electricity theft.
The trade association for the power industry, Energy UK has welcomed the new proposals.
They said "Ofgem's consultation is a positive move to cut down crime" claiming that "Electricity theft is dangerous and illegal... it also costs honest customers money which is why energy companies take this - and gas theft - very seriously."
It added: "we look forward to working closely with them and others in the industry on this."