Copper Thefts Could Lead To Higher Energy Costs

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Copper theft is a growing trend across the region and now some eastern Kentuckians may have to pay.

Jackson Energy Cooperative see so many copper thefts, they receive weekly reports of thefts in their service area.

Though they are working quickly to replace the line with something other than copper, they say it's not quick enough.

It's only April and officials with Jackson Energy Cooperative say copper thefts have already cost the company more than 60 thousand dollars.

“We're not profit electric cooperative. So when thieves are stealing from Jackson Energy, they are stealing from our members,” Carol Wright, V.P. Of Engineering & Operations, said.

The power company is replacing copper lines with aluminum or copper clad steel lines, but officials say the process could take years.

“It's a lot harder to replace it than it is to steal it. A lot more time a labor involved in replacing it,” Terry Isaacs said.

“We've had numerous outages from this. We've had recently 3500 members in Lee an Owsley Counties out of power from copper thefts,” Wright said.

“The copper thefts of course are dangerous because some people have been electrocuted stealing copper from electric companies because the lines are still energized,” Trooper Don Trosper said.

With the cost of copper in the rise, Wright says she doesn't see an end in sight to these thefts. If it doesn't end, their customers could be left to pay the price. “If copper theft continues to increase at a dramatic rate that it has, then basically it could affect the rates.”

Wright says any suspicious behavior around their poles or lines should be reported to state police.

Jackson Energy Cooperative is offering a 25-hundred dollar reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2008 at 01:53 PM
    well i got some copper they can have.. its called copper bullits..come my way i give u some in the (edited).just remember im a bad shot it could be higher up.i rest my case
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Apr 30, 2008 at 08:38 AM
    Is this any different than anything else. They do the crime and we pay for it.
  • by JAMES Location: Hazard on Apr 30, 2008 at 07:22 AM
    Drugs and ATV gas with no work involved is what this is usually about and we working people pay the price.Most of the criminals are on a check but to hear them tell it "I'm too sick to work but i can ride my ATV all day and steal anything for $$"
  • by Power Surge Location: Booneville on Apr 30, 2008 at 07:01 AM
    I think it is awful that we as hard working citizens have to pay to keep the druggies up.......I am one of those customers that was out of power 2 evenings because of the theives. Aren't there some way that you could set them up for a power surge when stealing the copper?
  • by herman on Apr 29, 2008 at 07:49 PM
    maybe they can supplement the cost by selling methadone to customers and that may cut down on the copper theft.
  • by here here Location: PIKEVILLE on Apr 29, 2008 at 06:02 PM
    I think its a shame that 3,500 homes are out of power there or anywhere else. These thieves are stealing for their drug habits in alot of circumstances. They should get electricuted.


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