Friday February 22, 2013
Several luxury houses in Jalan Lutong, Pujut tap power directly to bypass meters
MIRI: They live in expensive houses here and yet some of them will not pay an honest month’s worth of electricity consumption.
Syarikat Sesco Bhd inspection teams, well aware of this, are constantly monitoring and checking on suspicious cases.
In their latest rounds, the teams found that meters at luxurious houses in Jalan Lutong and Pujut tampered have been tampered with. The culprits used direct tapping to by-pass meters, resulting in low billing.
“Some of these customers are receiving monthly bills of below RM80 per month, which is ridiculously low for such big houses and the number of occupants,” said a statement from the utility company yesterday.
It said 28% of all meters inspected during a recent operation were found to have been tampered with, a relatively high rate compared to other regions.
“These luxurious houses have been recently developed, and it is believed that the direct tapping was done when the owners moved in,” said a Sesco spokesman.
“Direct tapping is dangerous because it eliminates the safety of the wiring system, very often jeopardising the function of the protective system of the house which is designed to cut off the current in case of internal fault.
“Tampered meters and wiring systems are dangerous to the public as they can cause electrocution and damage to properties.”
During their operation, the inspection teams were also hindered by many locked gates. Some premises were locked during daytime as customers were at work.
The teams had to return in the evening or on weekends when the tenants were at home.
“This is to ensure that the customer is present during the meter inspection and to witness meter replacement if it is necessary.
“Sesco technician teams will also explain to the customer regarding any meter abnormality that requires meter replacement,” said the spokesman.
Under Electricity Ordinance Section 32 (b), Sesco can apply for a warrant of entry from a magistrate to enter a premises for the purpose of meter inspection and it has done so in cases where customers deliberately refused to let the inspection teams in.
According to the spokesman, in this respect, Sesco seeks public cooperation in the meter inspection exercise. The public can request for Sesco identification passes before allowing the technicians into their premises. If in doubt, the public can also call Sesco’s office for clarification.
“Sesco appreciates the public for their concern and efforts in reporting power theft. The public are now more aware of the danger of electricity theft and they can continue to report power theft through 082-443535. All information will be kept highly confidential,” the spokesman said.
Stealing electricity is punishable under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance which provides for a fine of up to RM100,000 or imprisonment of five years, or both.