More than a third (39%) of UK consumers are unaware energy theft can cause a serious and potentially life-threatening risk to their safety.
That’s according to Echo Managed Services and Crimestoppers UK, which surveyed 2,000 members of the public about their awareness of energy crime.
Around a fifth said they didn’t know energy theft can lead to fires, with three-quarters unaware meter cheating can cause electric shocks.
Worryingly, 41% of people said they weren’t aware of the risk of gas explosions or burns that can result from tampering with equipment.
Knowledge about potential dangers is particularly low between 18-24 year olds, with more than half saying they were largely unaware.
When asked what their main reason would be for reporting an incident of energy theft, only 46% of people stated it would be due to the associated safety risks.
Roger Critchell, Director of Operations at Crimestoppers UK, said: “Given that energy theft is under-reported, it’s understandable that the dangers of this crime are not fully understood by members of the UK public.
“Stay Energy Safe was set up to allow people to give information about energy crimes anonymously but also to educate them on the potentially devastating consequences if it goes unreported.”