BBC's Spotlight looked at the problem of Electricity theft north and south of the border last night. The scale of the problem is increasing rapidly, costing consumers tens of millions which suppliers add to consumers bills.
There is also evidence that commercial customers are stealing electricity. Typically this is done by either meter tampering or bypassing the meter all together. Some methods are very sophisticated and difficult to detect.
Do power companies prefer to keep the problem quiet and simply hike bills to cover losses? In Northern Ireland customers who repay the losses escape prosecution.
BBC iPlayer - Spotlight: 26/02/2013
ESB meter tampering rife
An inspection in Spain found that 1/6th of electricity installations were fraudulent recently