To establish policy for situations in which the Cooperative's service meters are tampered with in any manner that may result in the inaccurate recording of actual use and/or the diversion of energy around the metering equipment. To establish a methodology for calculating the value of energy charges avoided through meter tampering and/or energy diversion and a penalty to be assessed for meter tampering and/or energy diversion.
A.When Cooperative personnel suspect meter tampering or energy diversion, the metering equipment shall be inspected to verify any evidence to confirm meter tampering or energy diversion.
1. If upon inspection by Cooperative personnel it becomes evident that the metering equipment or wiring has been tampered with to understate the reading of actual energy used, management personnel shall be notified immediately and the County Sheriff or local authorities shall be summoned to conduct an investigation of energy theft.
a. Cooperative personnel shall provide technical assistance to the County Sheriff or local authorities conducting the investigation as needed.
b. Cooperative personnel shall document their findings with a written report and photographs or video tape.
c. The Cooperative shall examine the historical billing records of the member to determine the approximate time frame of the energy diversion, estimate the energy actually use and recalculate the member’s energy bills for each billing period to determine the estimated dollar value of the energy diversion.
2. If it is determined by the County Sheriff or local authorities that enough evidence is available to assume energy theft has occurred, the General Manager shall evaluate the circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine if the Cooperative will authorize the County Sheriff or local authorities to press charges of energy theft against the member.
3. If charges are pressed, the County Sheriff or local authorities will be asked to contact the member regarding their findings and the charges that have been filed.
4. Cooperative personnel shall make the changes necessary to the metering equipment or wiring to ensure that the metering equipment is operating normally and the members shall be informed that these changes have been made and that Cooperative personnel shall be making random inspections of the site in the future to verify that additional tampering has not occurred.
B. Upon conviction, admission of guilt or plea of nolo contendre, the member shall be billed a meter tampering fee of $250.00 plus any charges or out-of-pocket costs connected with the investigation of the tampering plus the estimated dollar value of the energy diversion plus a security deposit of $250.00. Failure to pay such fees and charges in full shall be grounds to terminate membership and electric service with the Cooperative.
The General Manager is responsible for administering this policy and for recommending to the Board any changes deemed desirable.
EFFECTIVE DATE: February 22, 2017
DATE ADOPTED: February 22, 2017
Chris Hofer, Secretary