Dallas, TX - Of late, copper prices have more than doubled and so have the number of copper thefts, resulting in increases in reported phone outages, power outages and construction costs. TXU Electric Delivery is no exception when it comes to experiencing wire theft. In 2005, TXU Electric Delivery lost $633,000 to copper theft, excluding costs associated with outages caused by the crime. To help combat this trend, TXU Electric Delivery has partnered with local police and area scrap yards to help identify stolen copper wire and apprehend criminals.
This is a nationwide problem and TXU Electric Delivery is taking several measures to address this issue:
- Replacing stolen copper with copper weld. Copper weld is steel wire that is covered with copper. This material has the same electrical properties as copper but is usually not valuable to scrap dealers.
- Clearing foliage and increasing security lighting in and around facilities.
- Upgrading/installing security systems and perimeter fences.
- Securing equipment, materials, scrap bins, and vehicles that must remain inside these facilities.
- When necessary, hiring law enforcement officials for added security.
"No amount of money is worth a serious injury or death. It is critical that the general public, especially those who are involved in wire theft, realize how dangerous electrical equipment can be," said Rob Trimble, president and chief operating officer, TXU Electric Delivery. "Stay clear of electrical equipment, such as pad-mount or ground-level transformers, areas around substations, utility poles, or other equipment." The public can help. "If you notice anything amiss with electrical equipment, holes in fences around substations or padlocks missing from transformers, call the number on your electric bill. If you see an immediate safety hazard, such as a downed line or exposed wiring, call 911.TXU Electric Delivery is in close contact with local emergency response personnel," Trimble said.
SOURCE: TXU Electric Delivery Company