​It's not a victimless crime​

CenterPoint Energy cares deeply for the safety and well-being of the communities we serve and we want to educate our communities about the potentially deadly impacts of electrical wire theft. As the value of copper and other metals increases, CenterPoint Energy and utilities across the country have seen an increase in electrical wire theft. Wire thieves not only put themselves in great danger of electrocution, they also create safety hazards for others by tampering with electric equipment and creating the opportunity for innocent citizens to come into contact with energized power lines. They are also risking the welfare of everyone in the area by tampering with facilities that may serve hospitals, 911 phone systems, traffic lights, railroad crossing signals and other health and safety facilities.

In addition to raising awareness of the public safety risks, we want to minimize the increased costs to the public associated with wire theft. A conservative estimate by the Department of Energy indicates copper wire theft costs the nation nearly $1 billion per year, with the theft of just $100 in copper wire costing a utility up to $5,000 to repair. This translates into higher electricity bills for everyone.

So what can Houstonians do to help?

We need the community to be our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious.

  • Contact law enforcement or CenterPoint Energy immediately if you notice anything unusual with electric substations or facilities, such as an open substation gate, hanging wire or suspicious personnel near electrical facilities.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see someone attempting to cut wires near power lines or entering a substation. Contact CenterPoint Energy at 877-232-4911 if you have information about unlawful activities.
  • Help spread the word about the dangers and costs of electrical wire theft.
  • Never enter or touch electrical equipment; always stay at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • We also want to make those who are considering taking this risk to be aware that we are working with law enforcement to aggressively prosecute wire theft suspects. We actively work with them and support sting operations that not only catch wire thieves in the act, but also target recyclers who knowingly receive stolen wire.