PPC los­ing mil­lions due to power theft

Cor­po­rate and house­hold con­sumers tam­per with or dis­con­nect elec­tric­ity me­ters to avoid paying their bills

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The phe­nom­e­non of elec­tric­ity theft has grown out of con­trol due to the eco­nomic cri­sis and the in­abil­ity of many to pay their bills. While be­fore the cri­sis power theft was only seen in cer­tain down­graded ar­eas such as Roma set­tle­ments, it has now spread across the coun­try and into ex­pen­sive ar­eas too, in­clud­ing the north­ern sub­urbs of Athens.

Of­fi­cials at the Hel­lenic Elec­tri­cal En­ergy Distri­bu­tion Net­work Op­er­a­tor (DED­DIE) es­ti­mate that the turnover from elec­tric­ity theft at busi­nesses alone has quadru­pled within just one year, climb­ing from 10 mil­lion eu­ros in 2011 to 40 mil­lion in 2012.

The meth­ods em­ployed to steal power vary although au­thor­i­ties be­lieve that in many cases elec­tri­cians are paid to carry out the il­licit con­nec­tion.

Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion’s data on its lost in­come have been com­piled from checks on cor­po­rate sup­plies, as there are no in­spec­tors avail­able to con­duct random checks on house­hold me­ters.

“Un­for­tu­nately [the il­le­gal] con­nec­tions are con­ducted in such a way that can­not be no­ticed by in­spec­tors who check the me­ters once ev­ery four months,” a DED­DIE of­fi­cial told Kathimerini. “We have in­for­ma­tion about con artists who have made elec­tric­ity theft their pro­fes­sion, but this in­for­ma­tion is not suf­fi­cient for us to catch them.”

Me­ters are dis­con­nected or tam­pered with in most cases, al­low­ing con­sumers to avoid paying the full amount to the com­pany for their power con­sump­tion. PPC of­fi­cials say that only elec­tri­cians have the abil­ity to carry out such in­ter­ven­tions. DED­DIE is set to start seal­ing some 7.5 mil­lion power me­ters within the next 12 months, which would clearly in­di­cate signs of any tam­per­ing.

Mean­while PPC yes­ter­day launched its sec­ond ten­der in a month seek­ing de­vel­op­ers to build large-scale so­lar parks. The util­ity’s re­new­ables unit (PPC Re­new­ables) is await­ing bids for two 15-megawatt pho­tovoltaic projects in Kozani, west­ern Mace­do­nia, by March 26, it said in a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing. The bud­get for the en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion con­tract is 39 mil­lion eu­ros, not in­clud­ing val­ued-added tax.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.