St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) has warned against the dangerous practice of stealing electricity, asserting that it is illegal and can result in electrocution, electrical fires leading to injury or death, property damage or loss to innocent parties.
“Electricity theft is a dangerous practice,” the utility company notes in a video on its official Facebook page.
According to LUCELEC, it can also affect the quality of electricity other customers receive.
The utility company disclosed that it had installed ‘smart meters’ designed to detect and prevent meter tampering to minimise electricity theft.
In addition, the company works with the police to gather evidence to prosecute violators who are liable to face a five thousand dollar fine or up to one year in jail if a court finds them guilty.
LUCELEC has invited citizens to play their part by reporting electricity theft, including providing the information anonymously.
Recently, the utility announced that it would terminate accounts on its system that remain disconnected for 90 consecutive days to ensure safety and prevent electricity theft, withdrawing the meter and service line in such cases.
To reinstate service, the customer must pay their final bill and apply for a new connection using LUCELEC’s remote options or at its Customer Service offices.
The utility disclosed that this would mean that the Electrical Department of the Ministry of Infrastructure would have to re-inspect and recertify the property before service resumes.
Headline photo courtesy LUCELEC (Screen grab from video)