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Endesa estimates that electricity fraud due to marijuana plantations has skyrocketed by 70% in five years

A 'hole' of more than 2,000 million annually.

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Endesa estimates that electricity fraud due to marijuana plantations has skyrocketed by 70% in five years

A 'hole' of more than 2,000 million annually

MADRID, 4 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Endesa estimates that cases of electrical fraud detected by the company have increased by 35% in the last five years, while manipulations of electrical installations linked to marijuana plantations have grown by almost 70%, according to data from the energy company.

Specifically, last year alone, e-distribución, the electricity company's network subsidiary, dismantled a figure close to 150 frauds per day.

Estimates indicate that electricity fraud costs Spanish consumers as a whole more than 2,000 million a year, the equivalent of 69 euros a year for each supply point.

In the last five years, cases of fraud of all types detected by Endesa have increased by 35%, from 39,300 files in 2019 to nearly 53,300 recorded in 2023. The recovered energy linked to these files grew by 58%, reaching 662 gigawatt hours (GWh), equivalent to the consumption of 190,000 homes.

For their part, marijuana plantations and large consumption linked to industrial activity and business accounted for 74% of the fraudulent energy detected during the last year by the Endesa subsidiary. The other quarter corresponded to the residential sector, although only 2% was located in homes with lower consumption, with a contracted power of less than 3 kilowatts (Kw).

The general director of Endesa Networks, José Manuel Revuelta, denounced that the manipulation of electrical installations represents "a physical risk that can even cause the death of those involved or of third parties who have nothing to do with this illegal practice, it affects the quality of supply to neighbors and costs money to all consumers.

One of the big problems in this matter is the illegal connections to the electrical grid linked to cannabis plantations, where the files opened by the company in the areas where it operates increased by close to 70% in the last five years, and the energy recovered in these files grew by 83% in the same period.

In this sense, Endesa highlighted that every day last year its technicians disconnected an average of seven marijuana plantations from the network.