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Non-Technical Losses

These are the losses that occur due to unidentified, misallocated or inaccurate energy flows.

They can be thought of as electricity that is consumed but not billed. It is important to differentiate this from electricity that is billed but where the bills are not paid. In the case of non-technical losses the end user is unknown or the amount of energy being consumed is uncertain.

The three main types of non-technical losses are:

  • Energy Theft
  • Errors in Unmetered Supplies
  • Conveyance errors

Energy Theft

This is not energy that has been accurately billed but not paid; it is energy that has been illegally taken from the network through tampering with meters or other network assets. This is taken without the knowledge of an energy company and leads to differences between estimated and actual electricity consumption. Energy Theft increases everybody’s energy bills and creates serious electrical hazards for both those stealing the power and those working on the network.

To report Energy Theft you can contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.


These are losses that arise when electricity is consumed but not correctly recorded. Situations arise where energy is legally  consumed but is not properly recorded in the national electricity settlement system. This can occur due to inaccuracies in meter readings, unregistered meter points, errors in registration or faulty meters. These errors result in a discrepancy between actual and measured consumption, meaning energy is lost in the system.

Unmetered Supplies

Unmetered supplies (UMS) are commonly used for the communal areas in council owned buildings, street lamps, bus stops and advertising boards. Unmetered supply customers provide inventories of their connected electrical equipment and estimated consumption. Although we audit these inventories and request accurate updates they are not always provided and may change frequently. The difference between UMS estimates and actual consumption creates a non-technical loss.



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