Tampering with an electric or gas meter is both dangerous and a crime.
Ohio law defines tampering as interfering with, damaging, or bypassing a meter or service equipment to reduce the amount of electric or gas service registered on the meter. Proof of tampering or reconnecting an electric or gas meter is considered sufficient evidence that the member associated with that meter caused the tampering or reconnected the meter.
Under Ohio law, the knowing and unauthorized use of energy is theft. Violation of these laws is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. Additionally, the member may be financially responsible for any damages or loss, including death or injury, caused by the improper use or maintenance of the meter or other equipment.
Meter tampering and unauthorized use of electricity or natural gas is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. Improper connections at the meter can cause fire at the meter and even inside the house. Public exposure due to improperly sealed meters is a major safety concern for the public, especially children, in addition to utility employees.