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1/4/2016

At Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), we work to bring you reliable and safe electric service at the lowest possible cost. To achieve some of the Cooperative’s goals, it is with the help of you, our member-owners, that we are able to meet and exceed these expectations. One of the most important parts of the Cooperative’s electric service is probably not frequently thought of or seen, but it holds significant value in bringing you quality service: your meter.

Meters are useful and necessary tools to accurately measure the amount of electricity used. The meters are property of the Cooperative, and member-owners should never risk tampering with a meter for any reason.

“The most important thing to always consider with electricity is the safety aspect, and this kind of activity has a high level of danger associated with it,” Vice President of Engineering and Operations Greg Rogers said.

Tampering with a meter is very dangerous, and also against the law, he said, according to Section 18.2-163 of the Code of Virginia.

“Of course, the next consideration with meter tampering is the illegal nature of the action. A lot of people feel the worst thing would be that we disconnect them, but that’s not the case anymore. Depending on the severity, cases could end up in court.”

A conviction of tampering could lead to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine plus restitution.

Additionally, those attempting to tamper with a meter could end up costing the other Cooperative members money.

“In the process of trying to divert electric, there is the potential to damage equipment, which ends up costing not only the person doing it, but other members as well,” Rogers said.

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative asks that if you see any suspicious activity regarding meter tampering, electric theft, or if you just have a question regarding the readings of your meter, please call the Cooperative at 1-800-234-7832 and a representative will be happy to assist you.

FROM THE COOPERATIVE’S TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR PROVIDING ELECTRIC SERVICE

METER TAMPERING, CURRENT DIVERSION OR UNAUTHORIZED RECONNECTION

The Cooperative may pursue any criminal complaint procedure available under the law.  Before reconnection of any service disconnected for meter tampering, current diversion, or unauthorized reconnection of service, the Consumer normally must comply with the following conditions:

1.  Pay for all damages to Cooperative equipment resulting from the tampering and/or damages and provide sufficient deposit to cover future tampering or damage;

2.  Pay an amount estimated to be sufficient to cover service used or service received;

3.  Pay the Reconnection Fee, if applicable;

4.  Pay any other required deposits as identified in Section IV.B. (Requirements for Securing Electric Distribution Service);

5.  Pay a fee to cover the cost of testing the meter in accordance with Schedule F; and

6.  Make any changes in wiring or equipment which, in the opinion of the Cooperative, may be necessary for the protection of the Cooperative.