The famous “cat” of electrical energy occurs when the theft of electrical energy is carried out through changes in the electrical energy meter, be it the digital or analog device. In the case of a change made to the meter clock or the standard of the concessionaire, the theft of electricity will be carried out by a regular consumer, who is already a customer of the concessionaire. There is also the theft of electricity from clandestine connections made directly in the electrical power system, which, due to the non-use of the appropriate equipment for electrical connections, are even more dangerous.
In addition to both practices constituting a crime provided for in article 155 of the penal code, with a penalty of fine and jail, the effects resulting from this offense affect all regular consumers who start to apportion the value of the stolen energy. In addition, it is possible that the power quality indexes are also affected by clandestine connections that overload the network components and can cause failures and interruption in supply. It is easy to imagine, for example, that a transformer sized to serve a certain number of households may malfunction due to overload if it has to handle an extra load of several clandestine connections.
The Electrical World is concerned with the risks of clandestine electricity connections. According to Abracopel, each year hundreds of people are affected by direct or indirect damage to clandestine electricity connections throughout Brazil. Opinion leaders such as the media in various media, especially those aimed at professionals in the field of electricity, have a moral obligation to alert and inform their audience about the risks related to electricity.
It is not difficult to find on the internet several sites and communities on social networks that teach in detail how to make an electric cat. In other words: the possible crime of “apology and incitement to crime”, provided for in articles 286 and 287 of the penal code. Preventing the practice of fraudulent electricity connections is an action that could be initiated by removing such criminal pages and websites from the air.
Some energy utilities are already working with well-established actions to receive complaints, investigate, break clandestine connections and indicate the punishment of those responsible. Mundo da Elétrica interviewed CEMIG’s electrical system planning engineer, Armando Fernandes Rocha.
You can listen to the full interview by clicking below:
We already have laws that prohibit the energy cat, we have the concessionaires that have a financial interest in curbing this criminal practice and also the media increasingly involved in the subject. What is lacking now is the population’s awareness, both in the moral and preventive sense of not committing or encouraging such a crime, but also in order to remedy and denounce the already existing cases.
That neighbor or acquaintance who steals electricity is automatically sharing his electricity bill with you!
There are clandestine connections of every type imaginable, both in outlying houses and in high-end condominiums. Shops, gyms, bakeries, supermarkets and commerce in general sometimes feature in the news about clandestine electricity connections. In some of these cases, the explanation is related to the high cost of electricity. It is even easy to understand such an explanation since electricity is really very expensive in Brazil, but this does not justify the crime.
When someone steals electricity you pay more on the electricity bill. That simple. If the illegal connection is on your lot, on your street or in your neighborhood, in addition to paying more, you may be at serious risk for fires and other electrical problems. The protections that exist in the electrical system of the concessionaire or even inside your home may not work correctly in the presence of unexpected electrical connections. It’s someone who’s expensive for you!