Theft of electricity
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with India and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2012)|
Kundi, ( कुंडी ) ( ਕੁੰਡੀ ) as known in some parts of India, is the criminal but widespread practice by common people of stealing electric power. It is a crime and punishable by heavy fines and, in some cases, imprisonment. The name takes its origins from how some Indians refer to stealing power as flashing the Government with their buttocks(Kundi being the word used by people of South India to refer to their bum).
This simplistic process is to put a direct wire-connection to a main power route passing by a house or shop so that electricity can flow to the consumer without crossing the electric meter that is fixed by the State Electricity Board to calibrate the load the sub-total of your appliances is drawing. The safest time to do so is late at night when there is smaller chance of being caught. Other methods may include opening the meter itself, without damaging its seals, and reversing the dials: a complicated procedure that requires expert skill.
Sometimes the authorities themselves are found involved in such scandals. There are instances of even Punjab police doing this to save on their electricity charges.
There are two other modes of theft of electricity, which are prevalent in North India. Under the first mode, the outer seals appearing on the meter cup board and meter are carefully opened to have an access to the internal mechanism of the electricity consumption meter. One resistance is placed inside the circuit of the meter and afterwards the meter along with the seals are closed. The said resistance lowers the actual consumption recorded by the said meter and it depends on the capacity of the said resistance wrongfully inserted in the meter. Afterwards, the lash wire of the seals are reaffixed by applying Elfi and other material. This mode of theft is prevalent both in industrial as well as domestic electricity consumers. The other method of theft is committed by using a device having a three pin plug, which is inserted in the socket affixed on the electricity switch board of a house. When such device is inserted in the socket and is put to on mode, it disturbs 50 cycles/per second i.e. 50 Hertz frequency of electricity going towards the electricity consumption meter. Whereas all the meters are manufactured to record consumption of electricity at frequency of 50 Hertz. So during the period the said device remains energized, the meter discontinues recording consumption of electricity.
Types of Power Theft
There are various types of Power Theft done in all over the world. The slums all over the world survive mainly by meeting the energy needs from tapping electricity. Tapped and congested electric poles can be seen commonly in Indian cities. Huge amount of theft of power is done by tapping from line or bypassing the energy meter. According to a study 80% of total theft detected all over the world is from dwelling places and 20 % from commercial and industrial premises. The various types of power theft are as follow.
1) Direct Hooking From Line 2) Bypassing energy meter 3) Injecting Foreign Element by Tampering energy meter 4) Drilling Holes in Electromechanical Meter 5) Insertion of Film like object into energy meter 6) Cross potential method 7) Tampering Electronics Energy Meter
Direct Hooking from Line
It is the most used method for theft of power. 80% of total power theft all over the world is done by direct tapping from line. The consumer has tapped supply from a point ahead of the energy meter. This energy are totally unmeasured energy. It is taken from the consumer premises with or without switches.
Bypassing The Energy Meter
In this method the input terminal and output terminal of the energy meter has been shorted by a wire. So energy cannot be registered in the energy meter.
Injecting Foreign Element by Tampering Energy Meter
Sometimes skilled consumer inject foreign element such as transistor, resistor, IC chip into the electronics energy meter which causes low consumption of electricity.
Drilling Holes in Electromechanical Meter
Drilling holes is a visible type tampering attack on energy meter. This type of tampering is done in Electromechanical type conventional energy meter. The consumer can insert any foreign material inside the meter to obstruct the free movement of the rotating disc. there is a gap between the disc and the magnet.The temporary objects used to slow down the movement of the disc are pin. middle, etc.