Catching the power thieves-A A +A
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
MOST people know that Veco, which lights the city and runs its factories, spends a lot of time and money to catch thieves who pilfer electricity.
We see it in complaints filed against big companies and published apologies of other consumers who'd confess rather than face trial.
What the public knows less about is that Veco runs a small army of thief-busters, equipped with modern detection tools and all sorts of anti-crime gadgets except guns and explosives.
Why all the concern about power theft when regulators allow the firm to pass on to consumers cost of loss and consumers have no choice but to pay?
There's a cap on allowance for power lost or stolen. And Veco cares about how its customers regard the firm.
The less the systems loss, the lower is the tab, which is great relief to those who dread the month's bill like a live wire.
On customers' sentiment, Veco's clutch of programs includes easier access to Veco and its quick response to complaints. Consumers usually curse when struck by brownout or a stiff bill. Veco keeps working on both.
It goes on
With all the effort against thieves, there must be less cheating now. But Veco c.o.o. Sebastian Lacson seemed surprised when told, at a Cebu Press Freedom Week lunch, that (1) a barangay hall could be the source of mult-theft as many houses went dark when its power connection was cut for late payment; and (b) some Veco sub-contractors may be colluding with violators.
Then there are prosecutors who disagree with Veco on what constitutes theft. Basti, who was Aboitiz Equity Ventures’s reputation officer, may find that a tougher problem.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2012.