Practices in Stealing Electricity
A Case Study
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the
Prof. Rio S.
John Marvin D.
Mark Conrad Z.
John Maynard L.
A. Objectives ……………………………………………… 1
of the Study ………………………………………………….
Status Report ……………………………………………… 4
Technology nowadays is continuously
evolving and almost all of these technologies uses electricity hence,
electricity has become a necessity for us since we use it in our daily lives
but this necessity isn’t free.
Philippines, there are only few power distributor companies. In Manila, there
is only one distributor which is MERALCO. MERALCO monopolized the power
distribution so they don’t have to worry about losing customers since they have
no choice. They can raise the cost of their service without risking of losing
their customers but not everybody has the capacity to pay for their electricity
so they result to using different methods to get electricity for free. The
electricity they get now will be charge to the legitimate customers of the
The methods we
have discovered can be dangerous to a person’s life. A body of a person can only
handle currents from 0.1 to 0.2 Amperes but the average currents that are
flowing through the live wires are ranges from 50-100 Amperes. So a second of
contact can be fatal, but this fact doesn’t hinder them from dealing with live
wires. So these study is conducted to know the method used by the people and to
be able to determine problems that may arise during the process.
The objectives of this study are:
1. To find out the most commonly used
method in stealing electricity.
2. To find out what type of devices they
are using and how to prevent them.
3. To be able to recommend solutions for
the problem after the end of the study.
Scope and Delimitation
theft is still a problem in Metro Manila. In fact, the poverty level in Metro
Manila as of 2015 is 21.6 percent. So we can safely assume that one 1 of 5
people in Metro Manila cannot afford to pay for their electricity and since
electricity is a necessity there is a high probability that they will be
tempted to steal electricity.
This study will
focus on the most commonly used methods of stealing electricity in Metro
Manila, the devices they use in their method and the possible problems that may
occur from such methods.
OVERVIEW / ANALYSIS
Here in the
Philippines, especially in informal settlers’ areas, illegal connection of
electricity or commonly known as “Jumper” is a common thing. People resolve to
different kinds of ways in order to get the supply of electricity they need
without paying. Surprisingly, the modus operandi of the people have not changed
since it became common.
Electric Company, also known as MERALCO, is the largest distributor of power in
the Philippines. It is the only power distributor of Metro Manila. Manila
Electric Company is indeed a large corporation however they can’t even seem to
properly take care or protect their customers from these kinds of illegal
The people are
probably forced to do this kind of stuff because they can’t afford the
installation of electric meter. Also even if someone can afford the monthly
bills, some of the requirements are not that easy to obtain. Some of these
documents are proof of ownership/ occupancy and also a valid ID. If you are a
citizen who do not have a stable income or a kind of citizen who works only to
get through the day, these requirements are not easy to obtain. So as a result
people are forced to do such kind of things.
There are many
ways of stealing electricity but in these study we are going to tackle just
three of the most common ways of stealing electricity. The key players to these
kind of activities are the parasite, host (The one who has its own electric meter
issued by MERALCO) and MERALCO itself. These are the three most common ways in
1. By tapping to the supply line of their
In these kind of
situations the players involved are the host and the parasite. The host is
considered as the victim and the parasite as the suspect. The host is the one
who has a legal connection and has its own electric meter issued by MERALCO
while the parasites just tap into the electric meter of the host. In these way
the parasite will have its supply of electricity which is free because the bill
will be charge to the host. This modus is the most common way of stealing
electricity. The equipment needed are only alligator clips and a few knowledge
about electrical connections. This method is usually hard to detect especially
if the host is not that observant but if the host is smart enough to notice the
sudden increase in his or her electric bill, they can report it to MERALCO and
they will immediately disconnect the illegal connection.
2. By taking advantage of the old version of
electric meter issued by MERALCO (The Analog Meter).
This way of
stealing electricity involves the host and MERALCO. In this method, the host is
now the one who is stealing electricity from MERALCO. The picture of the old
version of the electric meter is as shown below. The power usage can be read by
the speed of rotation of arrow as shown in the picture and if you could slow it
down, the electricity bill will go down. So after asking an employee of MERALCO,
they said that this kind of meters can easily be tampered and cheated. Anybody
could slow down the rotation of the arrow by tightening the screw thus slowing
it down and the host’s electric bill goes down since the consumption is based
on the rotation of the analog meter. The equipment needed is only screw driver.
3. By tapping directly into the power lines of MERALCO.
As shown in the
picture there are many illegal connections that are tapped directly into the
main power line. The people involved in these method are the parasite and MERALCO.
In these method the parasite is directly stealing power from MERALCO. These
method is vulgar and dangerous. It is vulgar because it can easily be seen by
anyone passing by and it is dangerous because those wires are carrying high
currents and voltages and if someone came into contact with it they could
With this given methods,
we can conclude that the equipment needed to steal electricity is not that hard
to obtain. We can also infer that fire breakouts can occur when the person who
is trying to steal electricity shorted some of the wires and it can be a huge
problem especially if the fire occur in crowded areas where houses don’t have
fire walls. Also, it is safe to assume that the person doing this kind of
things did not practice electrical engineering, there is a high chance that it
may cost someone’s life.
of the Philippines with the help of other agencies, concerning the laws
specifically about the legal use of electricity such as MERALCO, Department of
Energy (DOE) and etc. formulated law/s to prevent people from committing an
illegal act specifically in the subject of stealing electricity.
Republic Act No.
7832, this Act shall be referred to as the “Anti-electricity and Electric
Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994.”The law was created since
December 8 1994 of the Ninth Congress. This law focuses in the illegal
consumption of electricity. This includes
Tap, make or cause to be made any connection with overhead
lines, service drops, or other electric service wires, without previous
authority or consent of the private electric utility or rural electric
Tap, make or cause to be made any connection to the existing electric service
facilities of any duly registered consumer without the latter’s or the electric
utility’s consent or authority;
Tamper, install or use a tampered electrical meter, jumper, current reversing
transformer, shorting or shunting wire, loop connection or any other device
which interferes with the proper or accurate registry or metering of electric
current or otherwise results in its diversion in a manner whereby electricity
is stolen or wasted;
Damage or destroy an electric meter, equipment, wire or conduit or allow any of
them to be so damaged or destroyed as to interfere with the proper or accurate
metering of electric current; and
developed a program called “Elevated Metering Center”, they placed the banks of
meters higher to prevent anyone from stealing, cutting, slicing or destroying
lines. In addition to that, they have monthly inspection of meters if it’s
working and if there is inappropriate connections they will trace and check
1. Surprise and
Random inspection of electric meter. They must do it randomly so people will
not be aware when the next checking will happen.
2. It is also
possible to put higher technology of protection to avoid people being able to
“tap” in to the electrical wires with ease.
a good and strong lock on the electric meters to avoid it being manipulated by
doing/injecting elements that would result to a lower electrical bill.
No. 11 Series of 2009, Elevated Metering Center”
Act No. 7832, Anti-electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials
Pilferage Act of 1994”