Who makes a light switch lethal?

Electricity can be dangerous: Know the risks

Meter cheating means tampering with the electricity meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity is being used or trying to bypass the electricity meter completely.

This is electricity theft and can lead to a fine or prison sentence. Meddling with something as dangerous as mains electricity is a very big risk. If you suspect electricity theft anywhere report it anonymously.

This is not a victimless crime.

Shocks and severe burns

Electricity is dangerous. Messing with the wiring could make switches or appliances ‘live’ to the touch or make them overheat or malfunction. It risks shocks and burns to anyone using them and can start fires that endanger everyone in the building.

Electrical fires

Exposed wires and connections can get so hot that they start fires. This puts innocent lives at risk as well as destroying property, endangering everyone in the house and often neighbours or colleagues too.

What to spot

Tampering with electricity meters to save money is extremely dangerous. The first signs can be shocks from switches and burns from appliances, but sudden fires and even explosions are possible too, putting you and your family in real danger. Meter cheating can take many forms, even smart meters can be unsafe if tampered with. Some of these are shown below, so look out for them.

Damaged casing

The casing to the meter may be smashed, broken or removed completely and the cables disconnected

Extra wires

Wires sticking out or wrapped around and connector clips attaching them to the meter

Melted meter

Parts of the plastic casing melted or scorch and burn marks on the meter

Working but no credit

Meter shows credit has run out but electricity is still available

Meter dials not moving

Dials on the meter aren’t going around even when electricity is being used

Burning smell

A smell of something burning or even smoke or sparks near the meter box

Real life stories

The harm from energy theft is all around you.

From families trying to save a little money to landlords renting potential death traps and greedy business-owners; we hear stories of energy theft across the country every day. They are stealing from us all.

View all stories

Report anonymously

Meter cheating means tampering with the meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or trying to bypass the meter completely.

If you spot energy theft anywhere, report it anonymously now.