Bord Gáis in campaign against meter tampering
Spike in anonymous calls reporting tampering followed episode of RTÉ’s Crimecall
A spokesperson for Bord Gáis Networks said the increase was first noticed in 2013 and a dedicated revenue protection unit was set up to keep track of the cases. The majority were in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Bord Gáis has launched a national campaign to highlight the dangers of tampering with natural gas meters following an increase in such cases in recent months.
There have been more than 500 confirmed cases of illegal meter tampering since September 2013 in Counties Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Cork, Waterford and Louth.
A spokesperson for Bord Gáis Networks said the increase was first noticed in 2013 and a dedicated revenue protection unit was set up to keep track of the cases. The majority were in Dublin.
“In some cases, people may be interfering with their meters, or allowing others to do so, in a misguided attempt to save money,” said Owen Wilson, head of safety with Bord Gáis Networks.
“Tampering with a gas meter is a serious public safety concern. By tampering with a meter, people are not just putting their own safety at risk, but the safety of their families, neighbours and the general public. The consequences could be costly or even fatal,” he said.
People suspected of meter tampering can be charged under the Energy Act 2012, which carries a fine of up to €5,000 and/or six months in prison. There have been three criminal convictions in Dublin, with four more cases pending in Munster.
“By law, only Bord Gáis Networks representatives are authorised to work on natural gas meters and it is illegal to ask, pay or allow someone else to tamper with your meter,” said Mr Wilson.
The dangers were recently highlighted in an episode of RTÉ’s Crimecall after which there was a spike in anonymous calls reporting tampering.
Members of the public are encouraged to report suspected or known cases of meter tampering to the grid operator on 1850 200 694.