Montréal, July 14, 2021
Hydro-Québec shuts down a major electricity theft network in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
As part of an investigation initiated in April 2021 to detect electricity theft, Hydro-Québec targeted a dozen addresses located in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, including Roberval, Saint-Félicien, Mashteuiatsh, Saint-Bruno, Hébertville and Chambord.
After analyzing smart meter data, the authorities responsible for the fight against electricity theft were able to identify areas where the electricity use appeared unusual.
Hydro-Québec’s teams of inspectors and investigators intervened on site on July 13 in collaboration with the Sûreté du Québec and the Sécurité publique de Mashteuiatsh. It was confirmed that electricity theft had occurred in 10 homes. No suspects have been arrested, and the investigation is ongoing.
The files will be submitted to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions for an evaluation of the criminal charges involving electricity theft and other infractions.
The investigation is one of many led by our corporate security teams to ensure revenue protection and integrity. In any given year, Hydro-Québec handles close to 400 files related to electricity theft. Annual losses from electricity theft are estimated at $22 to $75 million.
Out of fairness to its customers, Hydro-Québec is continuing its efforts to counter fraud. By taking measures against electricity theft, the company aims to recover stolen amounts and prevent annual recurring losses due to these infractions.
Citizens are invited to call the confidential Ouvrons l’œil hotline at 1 877 816-1212 to report fraud or what they think may be non-compliant electrical installations.
It is important to remember that electrical installations that have been tampered with pose an increased risk of electrocution and/or fire.
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