What should I do if I know of someone stealing electricity?
Call the electric company or local law enforcement and let them know. They will investigate. You don't need to identify yourself.
What happens if someone is caught tampering
with an electric meter?
Florida Public Service Commission rules
allow an electric company to bill the customer of record (the person who
is responsible for the account) a reasonable estimate of the electricity
used but not metered as a result of current diversion. The utility
does not have to prove that the customer is the one who tampered with the
meter in order to bill the customer for the stolen electricity.
Does someone have to actually see me
tampering with the meter for the company to bill me for the stolen electricity?
No. The utility only has to prove
that the electricity was being stolen and that the customer was receiving
Am I responsible for the security of
an electric company's meter?
Yes. Utilities have a provision in
their tariff that the customer is responsible for protection of the company's
property installed at the customer's premises.
How far back can the utility bill for
If the utility can reasonably demonstrate
when it believes the theft of electricity started, it can bill the customer
for as far back as it has records to support the billing.
What's the worst that could happen?
You could get electrocuted! An unauthorized
individual should never attempt to work on his electric service.
This should be done only by trained utility personnel.
Your electric service could be disconnected
with no notice. Florida Public Service Commission rules allow an
electric company to interrupt service without notice in the event of tampering
with meters or other facilities furnished and owned by the utility.
You could have to pay, not only an estimate
of the electricity used but not metered, but the cost of the utility's
investigation into your case. The cost of the investigation could
be hundreds of additional dollars. The utility can require full payment
before reconnecting your service.
You could have to pay a fine of $1,000 or
three times the amount of electricity stolen. That is in addition
to the money you have to pay to the utility.