16 | DIC | 2019
Electricity theft is costing over $16,000 million
The CFE is the state-owned electricity company - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Electricity theft is costing over $16,000 million

29/09/2019
16:30
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
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Until May 2018, the FCE had found 69,515 clandestine electricity connections

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On average, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) looses MXN $16,690.43 million for every minute of stolen electricity throughout the country, as a result of the so-called “diablitos,” small devices that alter the performance of the electricity meter, as well as the wires that are illegally installed on light posts, so that users don't pay for electricity.

The CFE warned about the increase of this crime, which is also referred to as “clandestine electricity connections.”

Information released by the CFE through the National Transparency platform shows that this tendency to steal electricity has been maintained through the use of copper wires, which allow the influx of electricity without being detected by the electricity meters or to alter its operation, in order to register a low consumption, as well as installing wires to the transmission lines located in light posts. As a result, it is expected that at the end of 2018, the losses will reach MXN $8,772.4 million, without including other losses generated by the flaws in the system or in the electricity meters, among other failures.

Until May 2019, the FCE had found 69,515 clandestine electricity connections at homes, companies, businesses, and stores.

Furthermore, the number of illegal connections has varied during the last seven years and although 800,000 new users are registered every year, this is not enough to reduce the number of illegal connections.

In 2018, at least 132,861 clandestine connections were found, in contrast with 2013, when there were 13,150 and 2015 when only 1,751 were registered.

In terms of losses for the FCE, these have increased: In 2013, the use of diablitos and wires cost the CFE MXN $1,172.7 million.

In May 2019, the loss reached MXN $3,655.2 million but according to the tendency, it is possible to expect the losses to reach MXN $8,772.4 million; a 648% increase.

CFE technicians explain that the states where diablitos are used the most are Tabasco, the state of Mexico, Jalisco, Chiapas, and Mexico City. Moreover, 8 in every 10 devices like this are found in these five states.

These five states concentrated the most losses for the CFE, with MXN $1,773.5 million.

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