News & Events
Ofgem statement on prepayment meters installed under warrant
27th May 2015
Ofgem has released a statement on the installation of prepayment meters under warrant:
"Installing prepayment meters under warrant should be used as a last resort by energy suppliers when consumers get into debt. It is a way to prevent a customer from being disconnected. Suppliers can only install a prepayment meter where it is safe and practical for the consumer to use".
Crimestoppers launches meter tampering campaign
Crimestoppers, the independent crime-fighting charity, has today launched a campaign to tackle meter tampering, a common form of energy theft.
In addition to the increased costs that energy theft can place onto honest customer bills, tampering is a crime that can have very real and dangerous consequences like fires and explosions, which threaten the lives and homes of innocent people. Crimestoppers plays a unique role in tackling crime in the UK, by providing an anonymous reporting service for people to come forward without fearing the repercussions from the community or criminals themselves.
In this campaign, Crimestoppers is using methods to reach as many people as possible in the Newcastle and Gateshead area to inform them of the criminal and safety consequences and signs to spot energy theft. Activity is also taking place to directly disrupt those who might be tempted to tamper.
Tony Thornton, Chairman of the UKRPA, is quoted in a Press Release published today: “Energy theft is a serious and dangerous issue with significant impacts on local communities. Tampering with a gas or electricity meter can lead to fire, explosion, electrocution and death. The dangers of meter tampering are not confined to the individual – fire can spread, explosions can destroy neighbouring homes and attending emergency services are put at serious risk.
"The UK Revenue Protection Association and its members are committed to detecting and preventing meter tampering and its associated dangers, through the sharing of best practice, education and awareness.”
Find out about the campaign and watch the video here.
New Member - Spark Energy
The UKRPA continues to grow in strength, welcoming Spark Energy as a new Associate Member.
The UKRPA has become the ‘go to’ place for revenue protection matters, making good use of its relationships with government, Ofgem, police, fire, and a wide range of key stakeholders. Spark Energy, an energy supply company, becomes the 16th member of the Association, enhancing the UKRPA’s ability to represent an ever broader spectrum of industry wide concerns and perspectives.
In welcoming Spark Energy, Tony Thornton, UKRPA Chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Spark Energy as a member of the Association. Spark Energy’s commitment to the UKRPA reflects their commendable position towards proactively detecting and preventing energy theft. We are hopeful that many more organisations will follow suit”.
Following a successful year, the Association will be looking to continue increasing its visibility and influence in 2015 in its endeavour to help detect and prevent utility theft. Visit the UKRPA website for more information.
Chris Gauld, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Energy said, “It’s really important for us to offer all of our customers a great deal and great service. We don’t think it’s right that some people choose to avoid paying for their energy and our UKRPA membership will go some way to ensuring that all customers are fairly treated and are able access the cheapest possible prices on the market”.
Black Market Britain
Channel 5 Catch Meter Tamperer at Work
The UKRPA recently came together with the team behind Channel 5's Black Market Britain to produce a special 'Undercover Benefits Cheat' edition of their programme.
The episode aired on 6th November 2014, and includes the filming of an electricity meter tamper in progress, in a property set up for a sting operation.
The episode also included other criminal stings, including shoplifting, illegal immigration and bank note forgery.
You can view the episode online at http://www.channel5.com/shows/black-market-britain-undercover-sting
Channel 5 has also included UKRPA contact details as 'helpful information' to viewers on its website.
Fraud Contact List Updated
The UKRPA Contact List for suspected fraud has been updated, including updates to existing contact details and new contacts for two smaller supply companies.
The updated list can be found on the 'Who to Contact' page.
Alternatively, fraud reports can be sent directly and anonymously to the UKRPA via the Report Energy Fraud.
UKRPA Seminar - Introduction to the Revenue Protection Industry
25th November, Gemserv
The UK Revenue Protection Association (UKRPA) will be hosting its latest seminar on Tuesday 25th November 2014 (09:30 – 16:00).
Expert industry speakers will provide attendees with a thorough introduction to the Revenue Protection industry, including an overview of current and future legislation, tips on how to identify meter tampers, a look at the interaction between the industry and the emergency services, and the challenges faced during the course of prosecution.
INTRODUCTION TO THE UKRPA
REVENUE PROTECTION: REGULATING MARKET PARTICIPANTS
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SUPPLIER REVENUE PROTECTION UNIT
TWELVE WAYS TO SPOT A METER TAMPER
WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE EMERGENCY SERVICES
TAKING ACTION TO PROSECUTE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR QUESTION AND ANSWERS
The intended audience for this seminar includes: small suppliers, distribution networks, those new to the revenue protection industry, social housing associations, private landlords, local councils, and all those who wish to learn more about issues affecting revenue protection activities.
This event will provide attendees with the opportunity to get up to speed with the fundamentals of the industry, as well as the chance to network with a variety of industry participants.
For venue information, visit the Gemserv website.
Costs for the Day – UKRPA Members
UKRPA Members will be entitled to one free place. All additional places will be charged at £200 + VAT per person.
Costs for the Day – Non-Members
Places for non-UKRPA Members will be charged at £300 + VAT per person.
Terms and Conditions
In the event of cancellation of your booking:
No later than 31st October 2014: full refund
No later than 7th November 2014: 50% refund
After 14th November 2014: no refund available
Any attendee booked on the seminar (including via a free place) who fails to attend without prior notice will be liable to pay the full non-members rate.
Utilita Accedes as a UKRPA Member
The UKRPA welcomes Utilita as the fifteen member of the Association.
In welcoming Utilita, Tony Thornton, UKRPA Chairman, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Utilita as a member of the Association. It is pleasing when organisations such as Utilita believes in the value of co-operation, and shared industry experience and intelligence that can take place under the auspices of the UKRPA. I have no doubt that other organisations will wish to follow in the footsteps of Utilita.”
Jim Garrett, Operations Director for Utilita, added:
“We pride ourselves on striving to continuously improve the services we offer for our customers. It is right that we take steps to help ensure a safe supply environment for all.
“Given there is an estimated £400m of energy theft taking place, it is wrong for our law abiding customers to have to meet the costs attributed to energy theft. We have chosen to join the UKRPA as a demonstration of our commitment to these values and I look forward to Utilita being an active member of the Association.”
Please see the UKRPA Press Release for further information.
UKRPA Responds to Ofgem Next-Day Switching Consultation
The UKRPA has today submitted its response to Ofgem's consultation Moving to Reliable Next-Day Switching.
The UKRPA cautions that "the challenges of dealing with energy theft within even greater time constraints may exasperate the ability for energy companies to be able to deal with energy theft situations".
The full UKRPA response can be found here.
Ofgem Guidance on Suppliers' Rights in Case of Theft
Ofgem has published an open letter with guidance on suppliers' rights and obligations in the case of gas or electricity theft.
The letter includes clarification for suppliers with regard to:
- Disconnection and meter removal
- Discontinuing supply and interation with the duty to supply
- Marketing gas / electricity to domestic customers.
The open letter can be found here.
UKRPA Response to Sentencing Council Consultation
The UKRPA has submitted its response to the Sentencing Council consultation on Sentencing Guidelines for Theft Offences.
The response can be found here.