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Electricity theft whistleblowing feasibility in commercial accommodation facilities

Charles Atanga Adongo, Francis Taale, Shaibu Bukari, Shafic Suleman and Iddrisu Amadu

Energy Policy, 2021, vol. 155, issue C

Abstract: Electricity theft is one of the most critical sources of non-technical losses in the utility sector, of which commercial accommodation facilities are significant perpetrators. Though crime resolution has socio-economic, psychological, ethical and technical underpinnings, the latter is mostly sought in electricity theft. Meanwhile, technological means to combat this menace have not been very successful, which calls for the integration of social interventions. Employing the social-psychological model of crime reporting and three other deontological and teleological lenses, we taxonomised electricity theft whistleblowing intentions and distilled the underlying reasons using a sequential mixed-methods research design. Three segments of whistleblowers, namely Kantians, spectators and utilitarians, are identified. Reasons including criminalising electricity theft, government revenue gatekeeping, avoidance of trouble and empathetic feeling uniquely define these segments. The study advances that addressing the characteristics of the segments along with the fundamental human motivations of accuracy, connection and ego could be profound engines of change for increased electricity theft reporting.

Keywords: Electricity theft; Kantians; Spectators; Utilitarians; Whistleblowing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112347

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