Around 86% of UK residents say utilities must do more to tackle meter cheats and energy thieves.
That’s according to the results of a 2,000-person survey collected by Echo Managed Services, Grosvenor Services Group and Crimestoppers UK – 43% of people said energy companies have a social obligation to combat meter cheating due to the associated dangers.
A further 43% stated their main concern was the extra financial burden that energy theft places on their bills.
The issue is estimated to cost around £400 million in stolen gas and electricity every year, equating to around £20 of each household’s annual bill.
Currently, around 150,000 cases are investigated each year but only 1,500 people are charged.
Despite this, 86% of UK residents said they had not seen any news coverage regarding meter tampering crime in the past year.
Lloyd Birkhead, Managing Director of Grosvenor Services Group, said: “The overwhelming sentiment from UK billpayers is that energy companies should be doing more to tackle this problem and that it is their duty to do so.
“More must also be done to increase the visibility of energy theft and make it a mainstream crime issue.”