Energy theft, or ‘meter cheating’ is when someone tampers with a gas or electricity meter. This could be to stop the meter recording the real amount of energy being used, or to bypass the meter completely.
Energy suppliers are legally obligated to investigate energy theft. You can read more about our obligations and how they affect you in the Energy Theft Charter.
You can report energy theft anonymously
Energy theft is dangerous. It's also a criminal offence. If you think someone is stealing electricity, gas or both contact Stay Energy Safe, run by CrimeStoppers.
There are two ways to get in touch:
- Call free on 0800 023 2777
Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Report suspected energy theft using the Stay Energy Safe online form
They'll write a report based on the information you provide, and pass it on to the relevant electricity supplier. Every supplier has their own way of dealing with energy theft. If there is a risk to public safety, the meter may need to be removed or exchanged.
Tampering with meters is dangerous
Gas: tampering with a gas meter can cause gas leaks. When leaked gas builds up in a room it can cause headaches and even loss of consciousness. Gas is also highly flammable. If there’s a build up of gas due to a leak, even a simple flick of a light switch could cause an explosion.
- How to spot gas theft: advice from Stay Energy Safe
Electricity: tampering with an electricity meter and its wiring can make switches or appliances ‘live’ to the touch. This could cause shocks or burns to people using the appliance, and in some cases it can cause electrical fires.
- How to spot electricity theft: advice from Stay Energy Safe
It’s important to report energy theft if you suspect it. Stay Energy Safe has more information about the real-life dangers of energy theft: