Over the past few weeks, LPEA has experienced a dramatic increase in meter tampering cases in our area. This is disturbing on many levels.
First, meter tampering is dangerous and puts our members and LPEA employees at great risk. Second, meter tampering is a crime and is punishable by Colorado law. Third, this crime impacts all LPEA members. As a cooperative, we are owned by our members, and margins not used to run the utility are returned to members annually as Capital Credits. The financial impact of electricity theft is therefore felt by all.
Here are a few things you need to know about this crime:
What constitutes meter tampering?
Adjusting anything on the meter.
Obstructing the meter.
Damaging the meter pedestal.
Repositioning the meter.
Breaking the meter seal.
Cutting a meter lock.
Flipping the LPEA breaker switch on (if it is off).
Removing the meter from its mount for any purpose.
Bypassing the LPEA meter through any means.
Sometimes meter damage occurs due to livestock, animals, or wildlife. If you suspect there is anything wrong with your LPEA meter, please call us immediately at (970) 247-5786.
What happens if I get caught meter tampering?
If LPEA suspects meter tampering, we will disconnect your power immediately, and report the crime to local authorities. In addition to the penalties you will face for breaking the law, you will also incur a minimum bond of $250 from LPEA. Depending on the case, you could be required to pay up to six months of your average utility use before your power is reconnected.
What are the dangers of meter tampering?
Any alteration of your LPEA meter could result in electrocution, electrical burns, or other serious personal injuries. There is also the chance of sparking a fire, which could damage your property and beyond.
Bottom Line: Don't touch your LPEA meter. If you have questions, or if you suspect meter tampering, please call us at (970) 247-5786.