PNG Power Limited (PPL) is clamping down on electricity theft by carrying out a disconnection exercise in the National Capital District and moving on to other provincial centres.
In 2009, the electricity provider through internal investigations believed that over 1000 people in Mt. Hagen had access to electricity through illegal connections, and despite efforts to combat this practice it is still a pressing issue.
As such, the disconnection exercise began at the Burns Peak settlement in Hohola and will move to other parts of the city including settlements.
People caught using electricity through illegal means will be charged hefty penalty fees, and the cost of re-connection.
In a press release by PPL’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Alex Oa, the penalty fees for illegal electricity connections ranges from K2,000 to K10,000.
These penalty fees include the cost of a new meter, service line and accessories, investigation costs and back billing for estimated illegal energy use.
PPL has a system loss of 23 percent: 11 percent of which comes from non-technical losses or illegal connections which can be recouped by identifying consumers who are using electricity illegally.
Persons identified during the disconnection exercise as having made illegal connections will be penalized accordingly and may be criminally prosecuted.
This is important as electricity is not only an essential service but can be dangerous if PPL standards are not complied with.
PPL advises that to avoid being prosecuted, paying hefty fines and having electricity supply disconnected to your premises, the general public must adhere to the proper procedures in getting electricity connected by visiting their nearest PPL office.