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Power Thefts

May 30, 2024

Power theft is a serious issue that affects not only the power distribution companies but also the honest consumers who end up paying for the pilfered electricity. To tackle this menace, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has taken a stern stance, warning consumers to desist from illegal power usage or face permanent disconnections, recovery of unaccounted energy consumed, and even registration of FIRs under the Electricity Act. KPDCL has started serving notices to consumers found using power illegally, with copies sent to the concerned police stations for registration of FIRs. Inspection squads are vigorously patrolling and mapping all those consumers found hooking on bare conductors, meter tampering, and bypassing, and exceeding sanctioned load in flat-rated areas. Tampering with electricity meters involves altering the device to show a lower consumption rate, resulting in lost revenue for utility companies. This revenue loss can hinder investments in infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, ultimately impacting the reliability and quality of electric supply for all consumers. Moreover, illegal hooking and meter tampering pose significant safety risks to individuals and property, including electrical fires, shocks, and accidents. Improper connections can damage equipment, compromise accuracy, and lead to malfunctions. Similarly, hooking involves unauthorized connections to the electric supply, overloading the system and causing power outages, voltage fluctuations, and equipment damage. Over 1.90 lakh inspection and disconnection drives have been conducted by KPDCL field staff over the last six months, resulting in the detection of a large number of consumers using power unauthorizedly. The centralised and fully autonomous Central Inspection Squad of KPDCL has conducted as many as 4,110 inspections over the past six months, detecting a large number of meter tampering cases. FIRs are being registered against consumers caught hooking or bypassing/tampering meters, and permanent disconnections are being effected. The load of consumers in flat-rated areas is being enhanced in a calibrated manner to bring down AT&C losses. KPDCL has also advised its consumers to use electricity judiciously, which will go a long way in providing reliable and quality power supply to all. Domestic consumers are also urged to avail the waiver on late payment surcharge under the Government’s Power Amnesty Scheme, which will remain in force till March 31, 2025. In conclusion, power theft is a serious issue that affects not only the power distribution companies but also the honest consumers. To tackle this menace, KPDCL has taken stringent measures, including permanent disconnections, recovery of unaccounted energy consumed, and registration of FIRs. Consumers must use electricity judiciously and avail the waiver on late payment surcharge under the Power Amnesty Scheme to avoid any action by KPDCL. At the same time, consumer education is also essential in tackling power theft. Consumers need to be aware of the risks and consequences of power theft and the importance of using electricity legally. Reward programs can be implemented to encourage consumers to report power theft cases. Smart grid technologies like advanced sensing devices, smart switches, and smart substations can detect and prevent power theft.

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