The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) detected almost 70,000 cases of power theft between January and May, a crime that is forecast to cost the state-owned company almost 8.8 billion pesos this year.
In the first five months of 2019, the CFE identified 69,515 cases in which electrical meters at homes and businesses had been tampered with to reduce power costs or bypassed altogether through the use of illegal hook-ups.
Electricity theft cost the CFE 3.65 billion pesos (US $187.6 million) between January and May, an amount that equates to a loss of approximately 16,690 pesos (US $860) per minute.
If the rate of electricity theft continues unabated between June and December, the company will suffer losses of 8.77 billion (US $450.7 million) pesos this year.
That would be more than double the amount the crime cost the CFE in 2018 and a 678% increase compared to 2013. Financial losses caused by electricity theft have increased every year since 2013, CFE statistics show.
In 2019, the electricity commission’s biggest losses have occurred in Tabasco, where illegal hook-ups and meter tampering cost 519 million pesos between January and May.
Almost 11,600 cases of electricity theft were detected in México state, over 2,000 more than in Tabasco. However, CFE’s losses, at 375 million pesos, were considerably lower than in the Gulf coast state.
The next highest losses were recorded in Jalisco, Chiapas and Mexico City.
Source: El Universal (sp)