€1,500 For Unlawful Interference with Gas Meter in Kilkenny
Gas Meter Tampering Puts Family, Neighbours and Own Lives at Risk
Thursday, 30th November 2017 – Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed the verdict in a case relating to the unlawful interference with a gas meter in Johnswell Road, Kilkenny. Mr Thomas Ward, of 67 Pococke Lower, Kilkenny, entered a guilty plea to charges of unlawful interference with a gas meter at the same address. Judge Brian O’Shea ordered Mr Ward to pay €1,500 to Kilkenny Meals on Wheels and awarded costs of €1,000 to Gas Networks Ireland.
At the case hearing, Gas Networks Ireland outlined that they had visited Mr. Ward’s address in July 2017. During this visit, they confirmed the presence of an unauthorised meter, which had previously been reported as stolen from another address in Kilkenny in October 2016.
Having heard evidence, Judge O’Shea stated that the offence was very serious in nature, noting that the criminal behaviour involved presented a public danger.
Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager for Gas Networks Ireland said:
“Today’s verdict sends out an important message to the public that meter tampering is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences. Fraud is a very serious issue, but far more serious is the risk to life that meter tampering poses to the perpetrator and to people nearby. We are working to end unlawful interference with gas meters and the dangers associated with this activity.”
“Gas customers should only ever allow a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) to work on their gas boiler or gas meter. Rogue contractors can make seemingly attractive offers, but the dangers involved, in allowing someone who is not registered and qualified to do the work, are very real. Anyone who either interferes with a gas meter themselves or agrees to allow someone who is not a Registered Gas Installer to work on their gas installations is risking their own life, those of their family, and of people living nearby.”
Due to the dangers involved, gas meter tampering is a criminal offence with possible fines of up to €5,000 and prison sentences of up to 6 months for those found guilty of the crime. Gas Networks Ireland has been actively engaged in identifying, and making safe, installations where tampering has been found and has detected over 2,300 cases of meter tampering across the country since 2013.
Members of the public are asked to report any suspicions of meter tampering to Gas Networks Ireland in strict confidence by calling 1850 200 694. Further information is available at www.gasnetworks.ie/metertampering