Utility Theft

UTILITY THEFT

Tampering with utility service equipment (e.g. meters) or using utility services without paying for them is not only dangerous to you and utility workers but it’s also a crime. If you suspect you are victim of utility theft, please call Customer Service at (252) 972-1250.

Tampering with utility meters is prohibited by N.C. General Statute 14-159.1 as follows:

  1. It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to alter, tamper with, or bypass a meter which has been installed for the purpose of measuring the use of electricity, gas, or water bypassing a meter provided by an electric, gas, or water supplier for the purpose of measuring and registering the quantity of electricity, gas, or water consumed.

  2. Any meter or service entrance facility found to have been altered, tampered with or bypassed in a manner that would cause such meter to inaccurately measure and register the electricity, gas, or water to be diverted from the recording apparatus of the meter shall be prima facie evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this section by the person in whose name such meter is installed, or the person or persons so using or receiving the benefits of such unmetered, unregistered, or diverted electricity, gas, or water.

  3. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned longer than two years, or both fined and imprisoned, at the discretion of the court.

  4. Whoever is found in a civil action to have violated any provision hereof shall be liable to the electric, gas, or water supplier in triple the amount of losses and damages sustained or five hundred dollars, whichever is greater.

  5. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to apply to licensed contractors while performing usual and ordinary services in accordance with recognized customs and standards.

  6. The minimum penalty for meter tampering shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

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