AMMAN — The Energy and Mineral Resources Regulatory Commission (EMRC) said Saturday it dealt with 141 cases of electricity theft during the heatwave that affected Jordan over the past week.

The commission notified the legal departments at power companies of the cases, and legal measures will be taken against violators, EMRC Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiari said in an e-mail to The Jordan Times.

He added that the load on the grid exceeded 3,300 megawatts (MW), noting that solar energy projects contributed about 40MW during the heatwave.

The commission launched a campaign last month to encourage people to reduce power consumption and highlight the dangers and consequences of electricity theft.

Current laws in this regard stipulate that any persons involved in stealing electricity are subject to between six months and two years in prison and a fine of no less than JD2,000 and no more than JD10,000, or both penalties.

Jordan imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs.

In June, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said electricity theft and violations must be addressed to reduce the losses incurred and ensure respect of the law.

The premier highlighted the importance of enhancing the ongoing arrangement of assigning law enforcement units to escort inspection teams from electricity distribution companies, whose job is to detect and report any violations against the grid.

About 2-3 per cent of power lost from the electricity system is classified as non-technical loss, which is mainly theft, according to the EMRC.

The commission dealt with 3,547 cases of electricity theft over a one-yea
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