The Water and Electricity Regulatory Authority has recently defined the penalties that will be imposed on violators of the electricity system, including those who tamper with electrical service meters or connect to the electrical system in an irregular manner.
The authority clarified these penalties as part of the procedures for controlling violations of the electricity system, which it put forward to solicit the opinions of the public and those interested in it.
Detecting and proving tampering violations in the meter
If the inspectors discover incidents of violation of tampering with the meter or any of its attachments or linking to the electrical system in an irregular manner, a report is issued for this, as well as clear photos of the incident of tampering with the meter. Referring it to the authority within a period not exceeding 10 working days to take the necessary action regarding it.
Obligating the counterfeiter to pay the value of the unregistered consumption
The procedures stipulated that the violator in the electric service consumption meter shall be obligated to pay the value of the unregistered consumption as of the date of the sudden decrease in his bills – without a justification for that proven by the beneficiary – and the unregistered consumption is calculated according to the following equation:
In the absence of previous consumption for the period of tampering, through which the percentage of decrease in consumption as a result of tampering can be calculated, the unrecorded consumption is calculated according to the following two equations:
(Unrecorded residential consumption) = circuit breaker capacity in kVA x 2 x number of tamper days
(non-residential consumption not recorded) = circuit breaker capacity in kVA x 4 * x number of tamper days
But in the event that a violation of connecting to the electrical network directly without a meter is detected, the utility that was lost by the utility is estimated according to the available data, taking into account the capacity and capacity of the electrical cable connected to the network in an irregular manner, and the amount of load connected to it.
Obligating violators to pay compensation and repair costs
The service provider shall remove the violation and repair the resulting damage after completing the procedures for controlling the violation, while obligating the violator with all expenses and compensation resulting from that.
In the event of the objection of the violator, the sums shall be suspended until a decision is made by the committee concerned with considering and adjudicating violations. The tamper with the electrical service meter or whoever uses the electrical system illegally shall be fined the following fines:
Penalties for those who are licensed to engage in electrical activity
The fines approved in this regard ranged between one million and two million riyals. The Committee for Review and Adjudication of Violations assesses the fine and the nature and severity of the violation, according to several criteria. The following are the value of the fines and the criteria upon which the value of the fine is calculated:
Double the penalties and the right to object
The procedures set by the authority in this regard granted the committee to look into and decide on violations, the possibility of imposing a fine not exceeding 10% of the value of the original violation for each day that the violator continues to violate after being notified of the committee’s decision.
The fine imposed on the violator is doubled if the same violation is repeated, and the violation is considered a repeat if it occurs within three years from the date of the previous violation.
The same procedures also gave the violator the right to object to the committee’s decision before the Administrative Court, within 60 days from the date of his being notified of the penalties imposed on him, and the objection does not entail stopping the implementation of the decision.