KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 9, 2:30 p.m. – Electricity theft is a problem all electric utilities face—and their customers share. It’s estimated that electricity theft in Florida costs utilities millions of dollars annually, and these losses generally are passed along to customers in the form of higher rates. In Osceola County, residential customers account for approximately 80 percent of the total dollar amount stolen each year.
Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) takes a proactive approach to this serious problem and is committed to protecting its customers, eliminating theft and reducing related costs.
This week, KUA revenue protection investigators conducted a comprehensive training workshop for Osceola County law enforcement officers and code enforcement representatives from Kissimmee and St. Cloud. This advanced training will enable better detection, investigation and prosecution of anyone found diverting, bypassing or tampering with an electric meter.
Here are some things to remember:
It’s Not Safe
Power thieves tamper with electric service connections and meters to avoid paying for electricity. Attempting to steal power is a dangerous proposition. Not only can it result in fires, but individuals can be severely burned or even electrocuted.
Energy theft is against the law. Florida Statutes identify penalties for criminal damage and theft of utility services ranging from First Degree Misdemeanor (up to one year in jail or $1,000 fine) to Civil Liability with a penalty equal to three times the amount of stolen electric service or $1,000 (whichever is greater).
If you suspect someone tampering with their electric service, please let us know. You can make an anonymous call to our toll-free Energy Theft Hotline at (407) 933-7777, extension 2168, or complete an online form at http://www.kua.com/Forms/ReqReportUtilityTheft.aspx.
KUA strongly recommends that you let utility and law enforcement representatives handle the matter and do not confront suspected energy thieves yourself.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric, water and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties. Visit www.kua.com for more information.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116