Electricity sector in our state is so much large compared to others. There is a factor that cause losses on this sector. The losses are classified into two mainly based on the root cause.

  1. Technical Loss
  2. Non-Technical Loss

Let’s start with technical losses. It is a kind of loss caused during the transmission and distribution of power from the generating station to the end consumer. And the same is not possible to avoid, but can be limit by using latest technologies and proven standards across the power network. I am not elaborating about technical loss in this post, will explain more on another post. Now my point is non-technical loss, let us discuss about this.

The non-technical loss is meant by financial loss caused by unpaid use of power by people. The unpaid use of electricity may classified in to two;

  • Recoverable
  • Non-Recoverable

The recoverable non-technical losses are the cases, that caused due to the consumer using the electricity by his power connection and do not paying the electricity bill to the utility. This loss may be recover by proper interaction with the consumer and utility.

The non-recoverable losses are called THEFT, Yes, it is. Power Theft.

What is power theft?

The power theft is unauthorized use of electricity without knowledge of the utility. Theft of electricity is the criminal practice of stealing electrical power. It is a crime and is punishable by fines or incarceration. In our society it still exists and not possible to pluck from root till the people realizes the cause. The laws haven’t enough strength to prevent theft in our society.

Types of power theft?

There are few types of power thefts are existing in our society and the types are the following;

  • Hooking
    This is the most using method found in our society, the direct hooking from the power line means the power is tapping from the utility’s distribution line. This kind of theft of power is unmeasured and most dangerous act of power theft.
  • Bypassing
    The bypassing of the energy meter means the input and output terminals of the energy meter is short-circuited and the power is bypassing the consumption recording function of the energy meter.
  • Installing external elements
    In this method the energy meters are manipulated by installing external elements like circuits or alike things. Here the external inspections are not provide any result of finding theft due to the external element is controlled remotely to slowdown the consumption register of energy meter. It requires time consuming expert analysis to find the theft.
  • Physical Tampering
    The physical tampering of energy meter are now a days less found method of theft because of the physically obstruct-able electromechanical energy meters are mostly replaced with latest digital meters. In the physical tampering method the rotating element or the reading disc of the energy meter is obstruct using foreign elements like films, magnet etc. this cause slowing down of the disc and preventing the recording of the actual consumption.
  • Electro Static Discharge
    The Electro Static Discharge (ESD) method is modern technique used in the modern meters like digital electronic meters. In this methos, due to the ESD’s high electric field, the EEPROM gets reinitialized and actual reading vanishes from the memory. This kind of theft can be identify now a days by accurate inspection and analysis of energy meters on premises and high-end meters have builtin functionality to detect easily.

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction.

Reason behind power theft

In my thought there is literally two reasons for power theft, the one who steal the power

  • Can’t able to PAY
  • Don’t interested to PAY

The reason is due to the one who is under poverty line and doesn’t have the money to pay for electricity. This kind of people are merely less in our society now except north India. Here central government and various state governments are providing electricity for free or very lowest rate per unit, that can be affordable to below poverty line consumers. And the government and utilities can educate them about the legal actions and such things, these kind of people will never repeat due to fear in mind.

The real problem of theft are the second kind of people. They have enough money to spend, have above average to high consumption of power, and the problem is there mentality. These kind of people mostly remain in there worse act of power theft or misuse of power after get caught. In our country the present law is not much powerful to prevent the theft and uproot the causes.

Solutions to prevent power theft

It is so hard to prevent power theft 100%, especially a country like India that is not under fully developed category. Well, it is still possible to take some measures to prevent and tighten the law as taking the power theft as national resource misuse with strong punishments. Few possible things to do are;

  1. Educate about the power theft.
  2. Conduct inspections on regular interval.
  3. Install technically advanced meters aka smart meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
  4. Regulate intense law against power theft.at last and not least;
  5. Public must inform about any malpractice or theft known or found to nearest Power Utility/Electricity Board Officials or Anti Power Theft Squad.