Meter Tampering and Diversion
Meter tampering occurs when there is unauthorized removal of a meter, severing of a meter seal, opening of a meter base, altering an entrance cable in any manner, or self-reconnects that are not done by an authorized PSE employee or representative.
Diversion occurs when there is an unauthorized tapping of power and/or gas in a way that circumvents the metering of that power and/or gas allowing an entity to receive energy without paying for it.
Not only is meter tampering illegal, it is also unsafe. It puts everyone, including PSE personnel, in potentially dangerous or deadly situations. Injuries and/or fatalities can occur from potential electrical shocks, sparks, surges, explosions, and resulting fires.
If a non-PSE employee tampers with a meter, disconnects, reconnects, moves, pulls, or de-energizes a PSE meter, or performs electrical and/or gas work without proper permitting, they will be subject to full prosecution – including but not limited to: fines, immediate discontinuation of service/removal of meter, revocation of contractor and/or electrical certification or licensing, and any other repercussions that may apply to the particular situation.
If meter tampering is identified, PSE will disconnect the service(s) and the account holder may be responsible for paying hefty fines and charges in order for the services to be restored. Special inspections may also need to be carried out by local jurisdictions or Labor & Industries (L&I) before the service(s) will be reconnected.
Due to the financial burden or time delay that may result from tampering and/or diversion, we have presented this information to help our customers and contractors avoid further impact.
If you need to have repairs or work done on your PSE meter(s) and/or other PSE owned equipment requiring your electric and/or gas meter to be disconnected, reconnected, altered, upgraded, or relocated, please contact our Customer Construction Services department at 1-888-321-7779 (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday).
Examples of construction projects that may require PSE to be notified:
- Adding a room and/or remodeling near a PSE meter or service line
- Demolition of a structure with power and/or gas service
- Installing or adding a tankless water heater or other gas equipment, an electric car charging station, etc.
- Removing and installing siding behind a meter.
Before beginning your construction project, refer to this link for complete guidelines, checklists, and electric and gas service handbooks:
If you suspect PSE equipment tampering, contact our Customer Service Department at 1-888-225-5773 (7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday – Friday). Any information provided will be kept confidential.
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