<< [Back to News Releases]

Avista Warns of Copper Theft Safety Concerns
Public is encouraged to report suspicious activity


A recent increase in thefts of electric equipment has prompted concerns about safety and economic impacts to utilities and their customers. Thefts of copper and other metals used to transmit electricity are occurring nationwide and the public is encouraged to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.  


Tampering with electric equipment can result in electrocution of utility workers, customers or the perpetrators themselves. It is also costly to utility customers since the replacement of the stolen equipment raises the cost of maintaining our system and will ultimately impact electric rates.


Avista was instrumental in passing a 2007 Washington state law making it harder to sell metals without proper documentation. The law requires that buyers of scrap metal help law enforcement identify sellers of illegally obtained metal.


Only Avista personnel or its subcontractors are authorized to work on or around electric facilities. These individuals should be using proper safety equipment and marked vehicles.


If you see a crime in progress please call 911 and report the activity. If the crime has already occurred call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or your local law enforcement agency.


Please contact Avista or law enforcement immediately if you see any of the following:

·         People cutting or removing wires or equipment from power facilities

·         Missing sections of power lines

·         loose wires hanging from poles or lying on the ground

·         holes in fences or cut locks at electric facilities

·         People with bundles of wire.


Safety note: The public is reminded that all electric wires should be treated as if they are energized. Please call Avista at 800-227-9187 to report downed wires or suspicious activity.


About Avista

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 355,000 homes and businesses and natural gas to 312,000 homes and businesses in three Western states, serving more than 492,000 customers. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.


Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.

<< [Back to News Releases]

©2017 Avista Corporation. All Rights Reserved.