Articles

Czechs steal enormous amounts of electricity

In Economy, Law on November 4, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , , ,

More than 3,000 cases of illegal electricity consumption were investigated and busted last year in the Czech Republic, the DENIK daily wrote. The electricity producer CEZ did the math and found out that the illegal consumption corresponds to that of a city of 10,000 people for the entire year.

Most usually people who do not want to pay their electricity bills just bypass the meter. Or, other people just break into a switchbox and connect their wires to other people’s meter, so these payers have higher bills.

Of course the CEZ company is not altogether innocent in this issue either. It has a special department that focuses on busting these illegal power takeoffs. The department employs tough brainless SWAT-esque individuals who have become known for absolutely insensitive behavior towards client, who are often “innocent”. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against these “investigators”.

The CEZ company argues it must be extremely tough on these felons, otherwise the losses would have to be paid by the honest bill-payers who have no debts.

That makes no sense: since so much electricity has already been “stolen” (corresponding to the consumption of a town of 10,000) and since the company generates huge profits, the losses affect the final annual numbers, hence the shareholders’ profits.

Any illegal power takeoff is an accident waiting to happen (short-circuit-related fires). No question about that. But the CEZ company is probably the least favorite business entity in the country because it has no competitor of any kind (in relation to average Czechs, of course, I am not talking about solar energy systems) and Czechs just have to use their services, no matter how client-unfriendly and crappy they are.

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