Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.
MEXICALI – The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has energy thefts every day, and using sophisticated methods, and it is done by people with economic power who live in luxury residences as well as businesses. Those popularly called “diablitos” is a small thing and for low income users, the largest theft is among the people who have money and their objective is to avoid payment.
This was reported by engineer Humberto López Guzmán, superintendent for distribution for the CFE in Mexicali.
He estimates that the CFE has losses of some 250 million pesos per year (US$15 million), which is added to the ordinary losses from power outages and that is added the deliberate theft of power. That figure is only for Mexicali and represents around 5% of the total power generation distributed in Mexicali.
Every day, he said, we discover that somebody is stealing power, it is a serious problem and even more serious is that the power is not being stolen for lack of money, as these are people who live in high-end residential zones.
These people know what they are doing and contract with energy systems professionals to redirect power with hidden installations, leaving only minimal power consumption’s visible on the power meters.
He warned that sooner, rather than later, the Commission will detect these frauds. One can fool them for six or eight months, but not all the time.
The official said there are new legal rules the CFE can uses for power theft. It is a serious federal crime, he said, and can warrant criminal penalties.
However, for now, he added, the CFE is is making adjustments. That is, they are calculating the real consumption that was not paid for the power theft and then send large bills which are difficult to pay.
CFE EMPLOYEES COULD BE INVOLVED
López Guzmán said that although there are no documented cases, CFE employees could be making hidden installations to steal energy. The installations which have been discovered are done by professionals, by people who know it is possible that there are employees involved in these disloyal activities, although he insists there is no documented case of this.