/PRNewswire/ -- Georgia's electric utilities are offering $500 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 for the industry. These thefts threaten the reliability of the electric system. In addition, damaged lines pose a danger of electrocution to anyone in the area, including utility workers.
Any information could be vital to the identification of thieves. This problem affects many businesses throughout the state, and the utilities are aggressively working with law enforcement agencies and scrap recyclers to apprehend the perpetrators. This 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 contact the hotline.
The reward 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 $500 award 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 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 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 $736 million and 10.8 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2007.
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