A manual detailing action to be taken in cases of electricity theft, up alarmingly amid the persisting Greek recession, has been prepared by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in accordance with new electricity network management regulations, and will soon be published in the government gazette, making it official, sources have informed.
Publication of the manual will complete the new operational framework that needs to be enforced by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator.
Inspection details, electricity theft evaluation methods and other aspects are included in the manual’s content.
The new manual will enable HEDNO to impose retroactive charges going back as many as five years for unpaid electricity use. Higher tariffs, to reach as much as double normal levels, will apply for such cases. Electricity supply will be cut should offenders refuse to cover penalties.
Electricity theft cases have increased drastically amid Greece’s prolonged recession, despite an intensification of checks carried out by authorities.
According to official HEDNO data, a total of 10,616 cases of electricity theft were recorded in 2016, an all-time high, up from around 400 in 2006, which represents a 2,700 percent increase over the decade.
The same data showed that electricity theft in 2016 represented 3.2 percent of the total amount of electricity used, up from levels of around 0.5 percent registered between 2000 and 2010, the year when the recession began grinding away at the Greek economy.