Energy theft on the rise due to high prices
Due to the high energy prices, the large grid operators Alliander and Stedin have lost much more money to people illegally tapping electricity. This particularly happens with cannabis growers, who install a connection to the electricity grid outside the meter, so the meter doesn’t register consumption. The grid managers also spend more money on energy lost when transporting electricity and gas.
The costs due to grid losses at Alliander were 75 million euros higher in the first half of this year than in the same period last year. That is also the main reason the company’s total costs increased, and the profit decreased by 12 million euros to 107 million euros.
At Stedin, grid losses rose by 64 million euros in the past six months, a threefold increase annually. The manager active in Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, and Zeeland expects to increase further due to rising energy prices. The company’s profit after tax came to 19 million euros, compared to a loss of 8 million euros in the first half of 2021. But that was mainly due to the abolition of taxes. According to Stedin, the results were lower than expected due to the high energy prices.
Both grid managers said they invested more in expanding the gas and electricity network in the past six months. At Alliander, this did not prevent the grid from filing up and new connections having to be refused.
At Alliander - active in Friesland, Flevoland, Gelderland, Noord-Holland, and Zuid-Holland - electricity theft last year amounted to the consumption of about 10,000 households. These figures aren’t yet available for the past six months.