Retail Energy Code Company publishes report estimating that energy theft costs consumers up to £1.4 billion yearly

The theft of gas and electricity is both dangerous and illegal. It usually involves tampering with pipes, wires or meters and can cause electrocution, fire or even explosions, potentially resulting in serious injuries and deaths yearly. Energy theft also increases the cost to gas and electricity consumers, adding up to £50 to every consumer’s energy bills each year.

The last thorough assessment of the scale of energy theft in Great Britain was undertaken by Ofgem, the industry regulator, around ten years ago. That review led Ofgem to strengthen gas and electricity suppliers’ licence obligations to require the prevention, detection and investigation of theft. However, no reliable estimate of the scale of the problem has been produced since.

Working with Capgemini to produce a reliable estimate

In 2021, RECCo commissioned Capgemini, a leading technology and data science company, to produce a Theft Estimation Methodology, drawing upon available data sources, including confirmed cases of energy theft, to estimate current levels of theft in both gas and electricity. The methodology Capgemini developed has produced an estimated level of theft of up to 1069 GWh gas and 2837 GWh electricity per year. At current prices, as determined by Ofgem under the Default Tariff Cap, that would equate to a value of up to £1.4 billion per year, though that figure will vary as wholesale prices change.

RECCo will use the insights provided by the Theft Estimation Methodology report to inform its work with the energy industry to reduce energy theft, including the funding service operated by the charity Crimestoppers. RECCo also funds the Stay Energy Safe campaign to raise awareness of the danger of tampering with gas and electricity equipment.

Read the report in full

Read the full report here.

Further information

  • To find out more about our work to reduce energy theft click here
  • To  report meter tampering or energy theft 100% anonymously call Crimestoppers free on 0800 023 2777 or visit the website
  • For media enquiries please get in touch with the UK Revenue Protection Association here or call 020 7090 1070
  • You can find out more about Capgemini here

Join our webinar

The publication of the Theft Estimation Methodology report marks an important step in RECCo’s theft reduction activities and will inform its future work in the area, as set out in its Forward Work Plan for 2023-26 published last week. To hear more about our theft reduction strategy, you’re invited to join our webinar at 10am on 25th January 2023.


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