The dangers of gas: Know the risks
Meter cheating means tampering with the gas meter so it doesn’t record how much gas is being used or trying to bypass the gas meter completely.
This is gas theft and can lead to a fine or prison sentence. Interfering with something as explosive and inflammable as natural gas is a very big risk. If you suspect gas theft anywhere report it anonymously.
This is not a victimless crime.
Lethal leaks and house fires
Damaging the gas supply risks dangerous leaks. As gas fumes build up in a room it displaces the air causing headaches and even loss of consciousness.
Leaking gas is also highly flammable and can be easily ignited – flicking a light switch is all it takes to cause an explosive fireball risking terrible injuries.
If large amounts of gas escape from a tampered meter it can build up in the air throughout the house. The whole building is now ready to explode with all the power and devastating force of a bomb.
What to spot
Tampering with gas meters to save money is extremely dangerous. It may cause leaks which you can smell, but not always. It may cause the gas flames on the hob or gas fire to change size or burn more yellow than blue and you may notice pilot lights often going out. But sometimes there are no signs at all until the build up of gas in the air explodes, putting you and your family in real danger. Gas meter cheating can take many forms, even smart meters can be unsafe if tampered with. Sometimes it can be hard to tell but here are some clues to look out for around your meter.
Back to front
The meter has been turned around the wrong way so you can’t see the normal dials
Smell of gas
A smell of gas near the meter box
Where pipes should be there are bits of rubber tubing instead
Dial has disappeared
There is no visible dial or counter on the meter any more
Working but no credit
Meter shows credit has run out but gas is still available
Meter dials not moving
Dials on the meter aren’t going around even when gas is being used
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.
Quiz: The facts about energy theft
Energy theft can happen anywhere. Do you know the truth about it? Take our quiz and find out.
Not-so “Happy House” takeaway owner jailed
A takeaway owner in Leeds was found guilty of stealing over £15,000 worth of gas over more than 10 years.
Some killers will never be caught!
Explosions from gas theft usually destroy the tampered meter so there’s rarely any evidence
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.