PPC to look into me­ter tam­per­ing

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The phe­nom­e­non of me­ter tam­per­ing is cost­ing Greece’s Public Power Cor­po­ra­tion (PPC) be­tween 60 and 70 mil­lion eu­ros in rev­enue an­nu­ally, with cor­rup­tion and the pos­si­ble in­volve­ment of agents from its sub­sidiary the Hel­lenic Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Net­work Op­er­a­tor (DEDDHE) iden­ti­fied as the cause. A se­nior PPC of­fi­cial said, “We should re­turn PPC to the time when elec­tric­ity me­ters were con­sid­ered a valu­able as­set and there were no un­sealed me­ters.”

PPC ap­pears de­ter­mined to com­pre­hen­sively ad­dress the prob­lem, in­clud­ing block­ing agents of its sub­sidiary if nec­es­sary. De­scrib­ing the prob­lem, PPC ex­ec­u­tives said it was a coun­try­wide phe­nom­e­non.

The high­est rates oc­cur in At­tica and Thes­sa­loniki, and not in poor neigh­bor­hoods as might be ex­pected, but in more af­flu­ent sub­urbs and in high-vol­ume con­sumers, in­clud­ing busi­nesses.

The phe­nom­e­non is ac­com­pa­nied by a host of acts of un­law­ful in­ter­fer­ence, while some in­di­vid­u­als have al­most turned their knowl­edge of me­ter tam­per­ing into a pro­fes­sion. The prices charged for tam­per­ing with me­ters vary ac­cord­ing to con­sump­tion and the fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the owner. The In­ter­net also pro­vides tips for me­ter tam­per­ing. The lax­ity with which PPC has dealt with the is­sue de­spite its es­ca­la­tion since 2013 on­ward has em­bold­ened of­fend­ers.

Shock­ingly dan­ger­ous

The prac­tice of me­ter tam­per­ing, be­yond the dam­age it caus- es to PPC and other con­sumers, poses a se­ri­ous risk to the health and safety of cit­i­zens and can land of­fend­ers in court.

DEDDHE yesterday an­nounced the re­sults of its con­trols, ac­cord­ing to which the to­tal num­ber of me­ter tam­per­ing in­ci­dents in the first half of 2015 came to 3,400 com­pared to 6,650 for all of 2014. The data on the evo­lu­tion of the phe­nom­e­non from 2011 on­ward, and es­pe­cially from 2013, which showed cases go­ing from 4,370 in 2012 to 8,429 in 2013, ex­pose a lack of fo­cused ap­proach by PPC in deal­ing with the prob­lems and con­cern for the op­er­a­tion of its af­fil­i­ate net­work.

DEDDHE has car­ried out around 8 mil­lion in­spec­tions and has called on all con­sumers to re­port me­ter tam­per­ing. It stresses that tam­per­ing in­ci­dents carry heavy penal­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.