May 31, 2024

Audit: GPA books $1.1 million in alleged electrical tampering for fiscal year 2023 |


The Guam Power Authority made $1.1 million in revenue last fiscal year from billing customers who tampered with their electrical connections, according to a financial audit released by the Public Accountability Office.

Anyone found making illegal connections, bypassing or tampering with meters or otherwise attempting to avoid paying electricity connection charges may be sued by the GPA for an amount equal to twice the amount of electricity stolen, as per the power company's standard operating procedures.

Audit figures show at least $500,000 worth of energy was stolen in fiscal year 2023.

GPA estimates that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of electricity is stolen each year.

In contrast, GPA made $548.7 million in profits from electricity sales in fiscal 2023, according to its most recent audit.

The GPA website states that meter tampering and electricity theft can result in electrocution, fire, explosion or death.

Guam law also requires that anyone found stealing energy be denied service by the GPA until they pay back the fine.

At least one person was indicted on power theft charges for allegedly stealing $70,000 worth of electricity in 2023. GPA workers discovered the illegal connections during service in Dededo, according to PDN files.

Under Guam law, energy theft, or theft of public services, is a third-degree felony.

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Mawar cuts electricity consumption by 7%

According to the audit, total electricity consumption for fiscal year 2023 fell by 103,000 megawatt hours, or about 7 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year due to the impact of Typhoon Mawar.

Mawar hit the island on May 24, 2023, and it took power crews just under two months to restore 99% of the power grid.

However, damage to GPA generators and the power grid caused frequent rolling blackouts until around Thanksgiving and continued through the end of the year.

A total of 706 hours of power generation was lost in various parts of the island between September and November, according to GPA statistics.

Despite the decline in electricity sales, GPA made $75.1 million more in fiscal year 2023 than it did the previous year.

Notably, electricity rates are set to remain high through 2023, despite power companies pointing to rising crude oil prices.

Typhoon Mawar also caused increased costs, with “other” costs related to the storm increasing by $14 million, according to the audit.

The audit found that the most expensive part was renovating the aging Cabras 1 and 2 units, costing $4.2 million. The two generators had been running constantly to meet electricity demand after Mawar damaged the grid.


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