Campaign against thefts of equipment
Thefts of cables and equipment from the power infrastructure were a serious and long-standing problem for CEZ and many other energy and utility companies. In 2010, direct damages for CEZ from thefts of elements of its equipment increased by 96% compared to the previous year. Recovering the damages took a significant part of the company’s investment resources that were otherwise planned for upgrade and support of the network. As a result, thefts led to breakdowns, power outages and inconveniences for customers who blamed the monopoly company for their inconveniences.
- Encourage public intolerance towards thefts of cables and equipment
- Initiate wider discussion on the problem with thefts of equipment
- Introduce stronger punishments for thefts of cables and equipment
- Educate customers about the damage caused by theft of equipment and how the problem affects them;
- Attract the attention of the responsible institutions to the problem;
- Communicate the scope of the problem and the possible measures that can be taken to solve it;
- Initiation of changes in the Penal Code and the Law on Trade in Non-Ferrous Metals, which would introduce stricter penalties for violators.
Communication with institutions and local authorities:
- Letter to the Minister of Interior to clarify the scale of the thefts and propose legislative changes, including stricter sanctions for violators;
- Meeting with the Minister of Interior;
- Presentation on the topic to the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Energy and Tourism;
- Explaining the proposal for legislative changes at meetings with local authorities in Western Bulgaria and the state regulator.
- 23 press releases – showing the scale of the thefts, the negative consequences for customers, the endangered security of electricity supplies, CEZ’s proposals to solve the problem and specific cases of theft;
- Two events for the media, with which were showcased the damages caused by cable theft;
- 11 interviews of CEZ managers on the topic;
- Exclusive materials in leading national media.
- Public discussion was held on the scale of the problem of theft of facilities, the negative consequences for customers and the need for undertaking legislative measures;
- Representatives of business, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Environment and the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Energy and Tourism joined the discussion;
- At the initiative of the Ministry of Interior, a working group was established with the participation of representatives of key ministries, business and consumer organizations in order to discuss the introduction of more severe penalties;
- The campaign had a wide media coverage – a total of 338 publications (220 positive, 118 neutral), of which 21 reports on television and radio, 57 publications in print and 260 in online media;
- 98% of media publications contained at least one of CEZ’s key messages;
- In 2011 the National Assembly adopted amendments to the Penal Code and the Non-Ferrous Metals Trade Act. They led to a significant reduction in the theft of cables and equipment in the following years.