Metal theft is a serious issue for the electricity sector and Hydro One is making changes that will one day eliminate the use of valuable, pure copper at its stations across Ontario. Going forward, when the Company undertakes maintenance work and upgrades at its stations, the new groundings installed will be made of a copper and steel composite. Signage will be posted at stations alerting would be thieves that this alternative to pure copper has no scrap metal value. Annually approximately $2 million worth of copper is stolen from Hydro One.
When copper is stolen from a station, it compromises the electrical system, resulting in outages, costly repairs and most importantly, can cause severe injuries and death not only to those committing the crime but also to employees, law enforcement officers responding to the scene and potentially the public. For years, Hydro One has worked closely with law enforcement agencies across the province to successfully monitor and prosecute metal theft criminals. The Company along with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), has now engaged other critical infrastructure and law enforcement organizations in a working group in order to ensure a more consistent approach to protect critical assets, report, investigate and prosecute incidents of metal theft.