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IID seeks public’s help in curbing energy theft

-Editorial

With the onset of spring comes a challenge for the not-for-profit Imperial Irrigation District to eliminate the theft of electrical energy.

To that end, the district is seeking the public’s help by asking customers to report suspicious activity, which can include tampering with electrical meters, power lines, and electrical equipment.

“Energy theft is not only illegal and costs all IID customers, but it is also very dangerous,” said IID investigator Mike Beltran, who added that instances of energy theft tend to pick up as temperatures increase.

When electric meters, lines, and equipment are manipulated in an effort to steal energy, the results can be severe – leading to power outages, electrical and fire hazards, and extensive damage to IID and to customer equipment.

Energy theft is estimated to cost the district anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the loss of energy alone. These numbers do not include investigation, infrastructure replacement, inspection, repair, or the judicial process. As a public power provider acts against the district, such as the theft of electricity, impacts customer rates.

Last year alone, IID responded to over 200 reports related to energy theft and is on track to meet or exceed that in 2022.

IID asks the public to report suspicious activity. If you see something, please say something by calling the district at 1-760-482-3688. All information provided will be kept in strict confidence.

IID adds that district customers who need legitimate work done on their electrical equipment can contact IID Customer Service at 1-800-303-7756. The district will send a representative to provide proper clearance for your project.

For more information, please visit www.iid.com/energytheft.

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