428 consumers apply for energy theft amnesty

428 persons accept government’s offer to regularise their position over tampered smart metres, energy ministers says  


Energy minister Konrad Mizzi today said that 428 had approached Enemalta to regularise their position over the tampered smart meters.

In February, government had given consumers who used tampered smart meters six weeks to regularise their position and provide information on the scandal.

At the turn of the year, Mizzi had revealed that up to 1,000 smart meters were found to have been tampered with, including 200 smart meters which belonged to businesses.

In an answer to a parliamentary question by opposition MP George Pullicino, the minister said that the 428 consumers who admitted to energy theft lived in 67 different localities.

Persons or businesses who admit to having made use of tampered meters will have to pay for their stolen electricity and an additional fine but they will not be taken to court.

Enemalta CEO Frederick Azzopardi had said that around 60% of persons who admitted to energy theft were businesses

Enemalta is expected to recover over €10m in lost revenue. In the summer of 2013, the company had obtained information about tampered meters, and by October it hit upon the first evidence that tampering had occurred.

The investigation was run jointly by Enemalta Corporation and the police, with the scam being finally revealed in 2014.

The estimated theft ran into millions of euros, according to the energy ministry, although this has not yet been established. But government claims the racket was organised within a formal framework that included professional middlemen.

To date, two Enemalta employees have been found guilty of being involved in the scam, with a number of other employees facing similar charges.