A round-up of our second energy theft forum – November 2023

On the 29th of November, 2023, we held our second Energy Theft Forum to update our stakeholders on the work being done to reduce energy theft in the UK. Representatives from Crimestoppers, DeterTech, Capgemini, Smart DCC and Ofgem joined us. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend. This article contains key takeaways from the event, the webinar recording, presentation slides, and our next steps.

Key takeaways from the event

  1. Crimestoppers introduced theft awareness material

Crimestoppers and BH&P have made some improvements to the structure of the Partner Portal on the Stay Energy Safe website. This section contains useful material that industry participants can use to promote the tip-off service and raise awareness about the dangers of energy theft. If you don’t have access to the partner section, you can request it by emailing theft@retailenergycode.co.uk.

  1. We’re developing an Energy Theft Portal

DeterTech is developing an Energy Theft Portal for RECCo that will provide intelligence alerts related to energy theft. The portal will track instances of theft in conveyance and at the supply point. Once ready, industry parties will be able to use the portal to identify energy theft hotspots.

  1. Introducing end-to-end energy theft process maps

We have worked with Capgemini to create process maps to help businesses understand their energy theft obligations. These maps can be accessed on the Energy Theft Hub. When developing the maps, the team discovered gaps in the existing processes and obligations, which are detailed in the findings and recommendations report. We will publish a comprehensive plan to implement the 22 recommendations in the report.

  1. Progress on our theft reduction programme

Ann Perry, who manages the Theft project at RECCo, gave an update on our theft reduction programme. So far, the programme has established the Energy Theft Reduction Hub, mapped the energy theft process end-to-end and made important changes to the Theft Detection Incentive Scheme. Currently, the team is procuring a marketing service provider for the Energy Theft Tip-Off Service.

  1. Could social media be used to tackle energy theft?

A pilot project called the “Theft Monitoring Service” is monitoring social media activity promoting energy theft. Weekly reports detailing these findings are being developed in collaboration with the Energy Theft Reduction Expert Group. The Online Safety Bill, effective since 26 October 2023, provides new powers to track illegal online content and may be useful in combatting illegal content associated with energy theft.

  1. We’ve been looking at theft awareness in the UK

Frog, which is a part of Capgemini Invent, has recently completed a project to assess the level of awareness regarding energy theft among the public and industry. The project gathered qualitative and quantitative data from energy consumers and industry players to identify key insights on energy theft. These insights were then shared with attendees, and a strategy is currently being developed to address the challenges highlighted by the findings and drive down energy theft.

  1. How could smart meter data detect energy theft?

DCC gave an overview of smart meter data’s role in energy theft detection, along with associated legal and data protection considerations. Preparation is underway for a proof-of-concept project to investigate the link between smart meter tamper alerts and proven theft events.

  1. An overview of the Theft Detection Incentive Scheme (TDIS)

The Code Manager provided an overview of the TDIS, including how the scheme functions and the key dates associated with the annual setting of theft detection targets and payments of credits and debits. It was noted that each Supplier’s debit/credit performance depends on the performance of others in the same pot, with an overview of how the calculation is carried out.

  1. An update from the police on tackling energy theft

A representative from the City of London Police explained that a letter has been sent to all Chief Constables highlighting the issue of energy theft and explaining the challenges from the perspectives of threat, harm and risk. It was also noted that legal advice on the use of warrants has been sought, with the advice received stating that police cannot force entry under warrants granted to energy companies. A summary was given of what powers police have to force entry, noting that the legislation is relatively old and unique to each situation. It was observed that potential changes to legislation are needed to enable the energy industry and police to address energy theft better.

Missed the webinar?

You can watch the recording below or download the slides here [LINK]. You can also read a summary of our first energy theft forum here.

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved with the next energy theft forum, please get in touch with TechnicalEnquiries@recmanager.co.uk

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