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Unregistered meter - free electricity


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Can anyone give advice on how to force a user that uses electricity from an unregistered electricity meter, to register it with a supplier and pay for it?

Before anyone says "Whats it to do with you?", it is because the meters are in an outbuilding we own, which almost burnt down last year because one of the cables starting burning up from excessive electricity consumption, almost setting fire to our house.

 

We have tried to involve the DNO (who repaired the cables), A potential supplier, the police, UKRPA, OFFGEM and Connections department. Everyone shifts the blame to the other. It is reallty shocking that in the electrical supply industry, literaly no part of the industry wants to deal with this situation. It seems that if you find yourself in this situation, just enjoy free electricity for life

 

We believe our house is technically uninsurable against a fire risk because no-one is saying they own the meter  - What on earth can we do ?

 

Please help 

 

 

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Can anyone give advice on how to force a user that uses electricity from an unregistered electricity meter, to register it with a supplier and pay for it?

 

Do you know who is using it ?

We could do with some help from you.

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And have you informed all of these agencies in writing? In other words do you have a written record that you have tried to inform the proper authorities?

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Yes - the people are known - We have given the names and addresses TO ALL OF THESE departments,  but the replies are

 

- From DNO

  These meters have no supplier allocated. The people who use it have to register it with a supplier, you can't do it for them. We cannot change the data 

 

- MPAS

  We have no record of who the supplier is. We cannot change the data 

 

- From a supplier e.g. BG 

  Sorry, we can only deal with meters that are allocated to us, these meters are not ours. The people who use the meter have to register it with us otherwise We cannot change the data  

 

- Police

  No crime has been committed, nothing to do with us We cannot change the data 

 

- UKRPA

  We just give the details to the DNO - we don't actually do anything else We cannot change the data 

 

- OFFGEM

  Clueless - there are no procedures for this situation We cannot change the data 

 

- Connections department

  We installed the connection, thats our job finished  - Its not our business to install a meter, suppliers do that We cannot change the data 

 

 

The problem is that the meter was installed and there is no record who did it. The DNO came out and inspected the meter to check it was safe, they said nothing more they can do. We cannot change the data 

 

It is astonishing that NOONE can sort this out for us.

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"one of the cables starting burning up from excessive electricity consumption,"  - do you know what they are doing to use so much electrity? Runing a cannabis farm? Irrespective of whether the meter is registered they shouldn't be able to use so much electricity though it that the cables burn. Isn't there a a fuse or something that is supposed to limit the maximum current that can drawn from the supply? Have they by passed it?

 

"We believe our house is technically uninsurable against a fire risk because no-one is saying they own the meter " - That isn't correct. A meter being unregistered isn't relevant to insurance. If it were every time someone applied for household insurance they would have to confirm whether all the meters on the premises were registered. But no insurer ever asks that question.  The fire in the outbuilding should be disclosed to insurers though. If the outbuilding is physically separate and some distance away from your house it shouldn't make any difference to the insurability of your house. And you have evidence from the DNO that the meter and cabling are now safe.

 

Sorry, no idea how you get this sorted though.

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"do you know what they are doing to use so much electricity? "

We now understand that this situation built up over a loooong time (20 years). There are approximately 6 large properties that are drawing free electricity. Apparently, each of the properties were using electric radiators in every room in their house over winter. We estimate that this one "3 phase meter" was consuming over £10,000 per month at the time, with each phase limited to 100 amps .

Technically, no law is being broken  

 

"That isn't true. An unregistered meter isn't relevant to insurance"

Whilst we are grateful that the DNO came out to validate that the meter and wiring is "safe", no-one owns the meter and subsequent wiring. There is no-one to sue if it happens again.

We understand that it will be our fault that we have overheating wiring in our house. 

Also, why should we have to pay extra to insure against this?   

 

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outhouse is connected to the house.

 

We are currently thinking of making the drastic step of taking ownership of the meters ourselves, and then trying to find a way put prepay meters in.

 

Ethel, just in case you are thinking their is a poveryty issue here, the people who are using free electricity are in no way poverty stricken. 3 of them have just recently started charging their wife's new electric cars.

 

For us, the issue is that the electricity consumption is only going to increase, and their is no filter on its use by cost.

 

Can anyone help with advice on taking ownership of meters?  

Edited by free1
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Have you tried the Energy Ombudsman ?

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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"Have you tried the Energy Ombudsman ?"

 

Thanks for suggestion - yes, already tried this. 

 

The script of questions only seemed to allow for me to make a complaint about a supplier (but technically, its not a supplier fault).
I did try to complete the script of questions, but after I submitted it as best I could, I got no response back anyway - zip.

 

The incredible thing is - If I was to switch off the supply, I understand the police would arrest me because I am "interfering with someone else's supply".

It seems that I would be at fault in law, because I would not be able to prove that the meter is associated to me. 

 

All I want to do, is force the people who use the meter to pay for the electricity used, to ensure that the wires don't burn up again.

 

The revenue protection officer told me that 9 times out of 10, they are called out to disconnect electricity to cannabis farms.

He said that if anyone at the cannabis farm said there was someone vulnerable there (that could not be charged by police and taken away),  then the revenue protection team and police were forbidden to switch the electricity off, even with the police being there.

 

The law is a mess.  

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It seems that I would be at fault in law, because I would not be able to prove that the meter is associated to me. 

 

Nor could it be proved you switched it off I think I would be looking for a friendly qualified electrician :becky:

We could do with some help from you.

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"Nor could it be proved you switched it off I think I would be looking for a friendly qualified electrician :becky: "

 

yes - I did think about this - I wish it was as easy as that.

Unfortunately, we'd have to justify how someone got through a locked door into our "property" where the meter is.

 

Also, after the first attempt, I'm pretty sure the police would arrest ME the next time it happened, as the people affected would make sure they advised the police accordingly on what the law is, I'm sure I will be accused of being aggressive etc. They would just ask the police to tell me that I am not to touch their electricity supply, and as it would be a clearly proveable breach of law, the police would probably arrest me for a statement  (This is why I haven't done it).

 

One thing to bear in mind,  the people enjoying free electricity are quite capable of playing dirty and ganging up to say the same thing. Its horrible really  

Also, the people affected have an easement to access where the meter is. They know all about the meter, what the law is, how it is connected and know exactly what to do to "switch it back on"

Edited by free1
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But they are not the registered users of the meter in your property so even though they have an easement to access they do not have a legal right to the meter so until such time they do seal the property or call that friendly electrician to disable it once and for all lets see f they scan switch on a disabled meter.

We could do with some help from you.

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"they do not have a legal right to the meter"

 

This is the bit I need advice on. As said earlier, even the revenue protection officer said that even with a crime ref, they can't switch off a supply if someone says that doing so will affect someone vulnerable.

 

It seems that in law, a "billing" issue is low down on the priority when compared to other laws.

 

The problem as I understand it

 - I can't get switched it off permanently (These people have a right it get it switched back on)

 - I can't touch the meter

 - I can't force them to accept they have to pay for the electricity they use

 - No-one can stop this situation. 

Edited by free1
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And of course you do have evidence that they are not being billed...?   How many properties are connected to this meter ?

 

 

 

.

We could do with some help from you.

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- Police

  No crime has been committed, nothing to do with us We cannot change the data 

 

 

 

Well they would say that, wouldn't they. But arguably the people using the electricity are guilty under s13 of the Theft Act ("Abstracting Electricity"):

 

Quote

 

13Abstracting of electricity.

A person who dishonestly uses without due authority, or dishonestly causes to be wasted or diverted, any electricity shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

 

 

 

Anybody who uses electricity must know it has to be paid for. Anybody doing so and not paying for it are using it dishonestly and without authority. But you wouldn't expect the police to get involved in such a trifling matter.

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"But arguably the people using the electricity are guilty under s13 of the Theft Act ("Abstracting Electricity"):"

 

This has been confirmed as a NO - by police, the DNO and supplier. This act is only when they have tampered with the supply.

 

In this case, it is merely a "Billing" issue - if anything it is formally decalred as being the fault of the supplier, even though they were never involved with installing the meter in the first place.   

 

"And of course you do have evidence that they are not being billed...?   How many properties are connected tot his meter ?"

 

This is an interesting one. Because of GDPR, suppliers are not able to tell me anything. I've also been told that suppliers are not officially allowed to communicate with the DNO about any of this either. They are restricted under a severe industry penalty if they do.

 

The only way I could can get some written proof, was to email MPAS, and ask them for the suppliers allocated to the meter that are in my property.

They were able to confirm that the meters have NEVER been officially taken on by a supplier for a very long time, simpy because the field that records the supplier is empty - no GDPR risk here as they have not told me anything "personal"

 

As for who the properties are, they were found out when the wire burnt out - their lights went off in the dark!

 

Edited by free1
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As for who the properties are, they were found out when the wire burnt out - their lights went off in the dark!

 

How many properties ?

We could do with some help from you.

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16 minutes ago, free1 said:

"But arguably the people using the electricity are guilty under s13 of the Theft Act ("Abstracting Electricity"):"

 

This has been confirmed as a NO - by police, the DNO and supplier. This act is only when they have tampered with the supply.

 

The Crown Prosecution Service say otherwise, and I consider CPS a more reliable source than any of those you quote [my emphasis in bold]:

 

 

Abstracting Electricity

Elements

Section 13 TA 1968  creates the offence of dishonestly using electricity without authority or dishonestly causing electricity to be wasted or diverted.

'Dishonesty'

The test to be applied is detailed in above in the ‘dishonesty’.

It is not necessary that the defendant should have tampered with the meter. Provided that they have in fact used the electricity, that they were not authorised to do so and that in doing so they were being dishonest by the standards of ordinary people, the offence will be made out: R v McCreadie (1993) 96 Cr App R 143.

Allocation and Penalty

The offence is triable either-way. The maximum penalty at the Crown Court is five years and/or an unlimited fine.

In a Magistrates’ Court, the maximum penalty depends on when the offence was committed:

  • For offences committed prior to Monday 2 May 2022, the maximum penalty for a single either-way offence is up to 6 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine; for two or more either-way offences, the maximum penalty is up to 12 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine;
  • For offences committed on or after 00.01am on Monday 2 May 2022, the maximum penalty available for a single offence either-way offence, and for two or more either-way offences, is up to 12 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine [see The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Commencement No. 33) and Sentencing Act 2020 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2022]
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sounds like my brother about 40yrs ago.

 

bought the 2nd part of a very large farming estate.

the 2nd half had nothing done to it for 5 yrs

then 4 houses were built where an old barn existed.

 

eventually there was a fire, he sued the builders and won for not registering the supply connection/cables or something properly.

checked his deeds or WHY and found not mention of the cable on or existing on his land so got it disconnected, dug it all up and left it coiled up over the boundary.

 

he about £40k 

 

dx

 

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Many thanks for this

 

"he sued the builders and won for not registering the supply connection/cables or something properly."

Sadly for me, the various builders have long since gone, some are bust now and it would be impossible to work out which builder was to blame

 

"checked his deeds ...and found no mention of the cable on or existing on his land, so got it disconnected, dug it all up and left it coiled up over the boundary."

I would love to do this too! 

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if there is no easement or whatever it is or mention on the deeds/plans it shouldn't be there , 

the 3phase cable to the barn was fitted by the previous owner that eventually after 65yrs split and sold the estate, so nothing to do with any electric co. so they couldn't lay claim to it nor stop him.

 

:pound:

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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8 minutes ago, Ethel Street said:

 

The Crown Prosecution Service say otherwise, and I consider CPS a more reliable source than any of those you quote [my emphasis in bold]:

 

 

I did check this out, but the police stated that they will never instigate proceedings, because they have no evidence that a law has been broken and they have no expertise in this area

What the police told me. was that nothing would be refered to the CPS by the police, unless a DNO or Supplier instructed the police to do so.

 

This is the problem, the DNO and Supplier are both saying "nothing to do with me". I even had the DNO insist to me that I had to raise a crime ref first. What a load of rubbish.

The probelm is that I can;t prove a crime has been commited because the Supplier and DNO individually refuse to confirm that something is wrong, and they are not allowed to communicate with each other without incurring a severe penalty (As I understand it)

 

You can quote that line as much as possible, but as far as I know, members of the public don't actually talk to the CPS, the police do. The police has to decide if somethign is worth taking to the CPS and if the police say "No, we're not refering it to CPS", then how do you get everyone to do their job?

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"

"if there is no easement or whatever it is or mention on the deeds/plans it shouldn't be there , 

the 3phase cable to the barn was fitted by the previous owner that eventually after 65yrs split and sold the estate, so nothing to do with any electric co. so they couldn't lay claim to it nor stop him"

 

I think this is the main problem for me, these guys do have that easement in their deeds. 

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im talking about your deeds.

is it mentioned and on your plans marked and 'xxx' is the company name against it as that must happen when they trenched it in.

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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