Senate approves legislation to help prevent electricity theft
LANSING - The Michigan Senate today approved legislation designed to help prevent the theft of electricity, which can be both costly and dangerous to consumers, said Sen. Randy Richardville, co-sponsor of the measures.
“Electricity theft is a growing problem because of the economic hardships that many residents continue to experience,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “Unfortunately, when one person steals electricity, all utility users pay the price as companies spread the cost of uncollected money across their customer base. Lawmakers developed this legislation to help deter residents from tampering with electrical meters to avoid paying their true electrical costs.”
Senate Bills 1310-1314 would develop standards for utilities to shut off and re-establish service to locations where unauthorized use has occurred. The legislation would also:
- Create penalties for electricity theft;
- Criminalize the assault of a utility worker performing his job; and
- Establish sentencing guidelines for the new criminal statutes.
“Tampering with live electricity inside a meter is extremely dangerous and can result in a fire, shock or even death to the perpetrator,” Richardville said. “This can create a fire hazard for all those who live nearby.”
Energy theft costs utilities approximately $6 billion annually.
The measures have been sent to the state House for further consideration.
Posted: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
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