Energy Theft


What is Energy Theft?

When someone deliberately interferes with a gas or electric meter, so their energy usage isn’t recorded properly, or stops being recorded altogether.

The illegal abstraction of electricity/gas or the deliberate interference (or tampering) with a meter to prevent it from accurately recording consumption are criminal offenses under the Theft Act 1968 and the Gas Act 1986 respectively.

Energy theft is not only costly to the public, but incredibly dangerous.

The Risks:

Tampering with a gas meter can lead to gas leaks, causing respiratory problems, unconsciousness, and many other health issues. Natural gas is extremely flammable and if it is leaking, flicking a light switch is all it takes to cause an explosion risking terrible injuries.

Electric meters that have been tampered with can overheat, malfunction, and become ‘live’. This can cause electrocution and other serious illnesses.

In worst case scenarios, tampering with meters could result in potential fatalities.

Telltale signs:

It can be difficult to tell whether a meter has been tampered with, keep a look out for the following signs.

  • Suspicious wires or pipes by meters or appliances that look out of place
  • Meter dials are static
  • A smell of gas near a meter box
  • Meters that have been turned around so the dial isn’t visible
  • Rubber piping on pipework that should be metallic
  • Dials have disappeared
  • Smashed or broken metering casing
  • Meter dials are static
  • Unconventional wiring in or around the meter
  • Burning smell
  • Suspicious wires or pipes by meters or appliances that look out of place
  • Damaged meter casing, or parts of the plastic casing having been melted or scorched

Suspicious calls or emails from anyone who suggests they can save you money, especially cold callers claiming to be from a reputable company.


How to report suspected energy theft:

If you suspect illegal activity, then report it immediately to us: 0843 504 7799, or

If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can visit Report Energy Theft –

StayEnergySafe is powered by the Crimestoppers charity. You can contact them anonymously on 0800 023 2777, or through their online form.