Power theft soars 50% in January-May

Power theft soars 50% in January-May

Grid operator DEDDIE has got some particularly worrying data on electricity theft, since the relevant costs are passed on to electricity bills.

In January–May this year, the power thefts detected by the DEDDIE crews increased by 50% compared to the corresponding period of 2023 and 2022.

According to the company’s announcement, 6,000 cases of power theft were detected compared to 4,000 over the same period in 2023 and 2022.

The number is also the result of the 65% increase in checks carried out by DEDDIE in the first five months of this year compared to the two previous years. Up to the end of May it executed 13,000 checks for possible electricity thefts compared to 8,000 in the corresponding period of 2023 and 2022.

The large customers in the low and medium voltages were also targeted by DEDDIE, since, as the grid administrator points out, “with the use of appropriate tools for the analysis of measurement data from multiple sources of information, such as for example from the Telemetry Center, there are daily indications of suspected electricity theft.”

Indicatively, it is reported that from 400 targeted checks on large customers in a period of 10 days, 35 electricity thefts were found, which is estimated to correspond to lost energy of 4,800 MWH. A number of 35 companies stole energy corresponding to 700 confirmed electricity thefts from households. The amount that according to the DEDDIE these companies will be asked to pay exceeds 1.3 million euros.

According to DEDDIE, there is also a great improvement in the rate of debt collection from electricity thefts, which are returned directly to the people who have suffered the energy loss.

So far this year DEDDIE has collected €8.5 million from theft cases of recent years, while the corresponding amount last year and the year before had been €6.5 million on average.

Based on the current rate, DEDDIE estimates that by the end of the year, it will have carried out 30,000 electricity theft checks nationwide, while the collections will exceed €20 million. Still, that amount is significantly short of the €400 million per year that correspond to electricity thefts according to the estimates of the competent Minister of Environment and Energy Thodoros Skylakakis.

The increasing trend of electricity theft is also a concern of the industry’s regulator (RAAEY), which has decided to set specific targets for DEDDIE since 2020 to contain the phenomenon, under the threat of fines.

According to DEDDIE data, the non-technical losses of the network (according to the formal name for theft), have increased from 4.9% of the total consumption in 2021 to 5.32% in 2022, against the target for a reduction by 2% set by RAAEY. In 2023, theft was also shown to be in the rise, per the DEDDIE data, and the rate is increasing in 2024 as well.

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