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Old 10-01-2015, 03:47 PM   #1
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Removing electrical meter tag (consequences)


Bit of a sticky situation here. I had a brain fart and completely forgot to pay the electrical bill last month. I've done this one other time and I received an email notice reminding me about it. This time, there was no notice, no phone call, no paper on the door, NOTHING. But I get a phone call from my wife this morning telling me power was shut off. I angrily called the utility and settled up with them right away and they told me it would be restored within 1-3 days.

I looked on their website and it clearly says they need to give 3 days notice prior to disconnecting service. This also never happened.
I explained to them that I have 3 kids in the house and one of them is a 10-month old baby, and that 1-3 days is not tolerable. Their response was that they cannot guarantee anything.

With temps getting down into the 40s tonight, I told them if its not restored by this evening, I will be cutting the tag and doing it myself.

Sure I screwed up by letting a payment lapse, but there was absolutely ZERO notice.

So if they fail to show in the next couple hours, what kind of repercussions am I going to face by cutting the tag? Will they simply verify that I did not tamper with the meter and re-seal it?
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:49 PM   #2
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Most likely they'll just have you arrested, and then put a big serious lock around the meter to replace the tamper seal.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Most likely they'll just have you arrested, and then put a big serious lock around the meter to replace the tamper seal.
Unless there's an actual law in his jurisdiction... I doubt he would be arrested. The power company may be able to impose meter-tampering fines.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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Seems to depend on the power company's attitude at the time. Simply cutting the tag without touching the meter is enough for them to fine you a substantial amount of money, if they feel like it.

Cutting the seal and removing the boots from the meter, on the other hand, is theft of service, which is a crime pretty much everywhere as far as I know.
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteve View Post
Seems to depend on the power company's attitude at the time. Simply cutting the tag without touching the meter is enough for them to fine you a substantial amount of money, if they feel like it.

Cutting the seal and removing the boots from the meter, on the other hand, is theft of service, which is a crime pretty much everywhere as far as I know.
Dearest McSteve, please advise how it is a theft of service while the meter continues to spin?
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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The power company booting your meter is a pretty clear indication that you are no longer authorized to use the power. Any power you use at that point could be considered stolen, regardless of whether or not it's being metered.

Theft isn't just about taking without paying; it's taking without consent.

I'm just trying to convey the depth of the pile of excrement you could find yourself in if you attempt to reconnect your own power. I mean, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but just be aware that the consequences could range anywhere from a stern talking-to all the way up to criminal charges.

If they've got you booted for nonpayment, any tampering with the meter seal is going to make them unhappier than they usually are about tampered seals.

I'm not trying to sound rude or mean or anything; just offering information to factor in to your decision.
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #7
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Please , rent a generator---tampering with a meter is not a DIY project---

I have seen the arc flash when some one fumbled while setting a meter---do not be foolish enough to do this----this topic is closed--Moderator---
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