The U.K.’s energy regulator revealed that up to one-third of electricity stolen each year is used to power cannabis farms according to CNBC.
The Guardian reported that “Stealing electricity to power cannabis farms is costing consumers millions of pounds a year and the industry must do more to investigate, according to the regulator Ofgem.”
According to the report, of the 25,000 cases detected by suppliers in 2010, around a third were specifically used to heat illicit pot-growing operations.
Experts say that energy thefts for cannabis farms have continued to rise, particularly in Greater London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire.
Mirror News stats that “cannabis factories typically use 12,000kilowatt hours of electricity a month – 40 times more than the average home uses.”
Andrew Wright, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “Ofgem wants to make sure that consumers are paying no more than they need to for their electricity, and lives are not put at risk.
“It’s critical that suppliers do all they can to clamp down on electricity theft. This is why Ofgem is introducing new rules to encourage better theft detection.”
Mirror News reported that a spokesman of Energy UK welcomed the proposals for new rules and said:
“Ofgem’s consultation is a positive move to cut down crime, and we look forward to working closely with them, and others in the industry on this.
“Electricity theft is dangerous and illegal. Contact with live electricity cables can kill and tampered meters cause fires.
“Electricity theft also costs honest customers money which is why energy companies take this – and gas theft – very seriously .
“Every year our members detect and prosecute criminals. When energy companies find electricity thieves, they will prosecute.”
Stealing electricity is common all over, and people want to see it stopped. The Inquisitr had previously reported a story where using a public power outlet to charge your phone could get you arrested.
Mirror News stated that “an initial consultation on Ofgem’s proposals was published today and the deadline for responses is August 28.
“Ofgem expects to have a licence condition for suppliers in place by early next year.”
[Image via Shutterstock/Andre Blais]