Electric Utilities in Georgia Increase Reward for Identification of Copper Thieves
ATLANTA, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — In the wake of increased copper thefts, Georgia’s electric utilities are offering up to $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals involved in the theft of copper and other metals from their property.
Copper thefts from substations, utility poles and lines continue to be a growing problem and public safety issue. The thefts threaten the reliability of the electric system and could cause power outages in some cases. In addition, damaged lines pose a danger of electrocution to anyone in the area, including utility workers.
These crimes affect many businesses throughout the state and their ability to provide essential services. Utilities are aggressively working with law enforcement agencies and scrap recyclers to apprehend the perpetrators. This increased reward is one tool to encourage the public’s assistance.
Details such as a tag number, a physical description of a person or a car could be especially helpful. Anyone who observes suspicious activity around an electric substation or other utility facility is asked to contact the statewide copper theft hotline at 1-877-732-8717. If a theft is in progress, the witness should notify 911 first, then call the hotline.
In February 2009 utilities began offering $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone associated with copper thefts. Officials hope the increased reward will encourage members of the public to come forward with valuable information.
Up to $3,000 will be paid to anyone who furnishes information that leads directly to the arrest and conviction of someone involved in metals theft from a utility property in Georgia.
The reward is being offered by Dalton Utilities, Electric Cities of Georgia, 42 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs), Georgia EMC, Georgia Power, Georgia Transmission Corp. and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
About the utilities
Dalton Utilities has operated as a public utility since 1889 and provides potable water, electrical, natural gas and wastewater treatment services to approximately 65,000 customers in the City of Dalton and portions of Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Catoosa and Floyd counties. In 2003, Dalton Utilities launched OptiLink and now provides broadband, cable TV, telephone and internet services to residential and business customers.
Electric Cities of Georgia is an industry association of 52 municipally-owned electric systems that provides technical expertise, training, public relations and legislative support to its members.
Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than four million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.
Georgia Transmission is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by 39 EMCs in Georgia. It plans, builds and maintains a transmission system of nearly 3,000 miles of power lines and more than 600 substations. The company also jointly plans and operates most of Georgia’s 18,500 miles of transmission lines and substations with Georgia Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities.
The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) is a public generation and transmission organization providing power to 49 Georgia communities with annual electric sales of $666 million and 10.2 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2009.
A Joint News Release of:
Electric Cities of Georgia
Georgia Electric Membership Corporation
Georgia Transmission Corporation
Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia
Oglethorpe Power Corporation
SOURCE Georgia Power Co.