T&D World Magazine
Box Helps Solve Commercial Energy Theft

Box Helps Solve Commercial Energy Theft

The tap box houses all necessary electrical components in a single enclosure, secured with a pad-lockable, three-point latching system.

In response to the growing cost of energy theft from utility lines, estimated at nearly $6 billion a year in the U.S. alone, Milbank has launched its tap box product line.

The tap box houses all necessary electrical components in a single enclosure, secured with a pad-lockable, three-point latching system, which makes tapping into electrical systems to steal power far more difficult. According to Deloitte Consulting's CIO Journal, stealing electricity ranks as the third largest form of theft in the U.S. behind shoplifting and copper theft.

Milbank's tap box is a lightweight, aluminum enclosure which securely distributes utility power for multi-tenant applications, such as apartment complexes, commercial sites and strip malls. The alternative is a vulnerable power distribution array known among electrical contractors as a trough system, which leaves utility lines exposed—an easy target for power theft. 

"The tap box was designed and manufactured in the U.S. as a direct response to input from our utility partners – it's really one-of-a-kind," explained Kris Johnson, general manager. "We kept hearing about the widespread problem of power theft. Perpetrators were tapping into lines to siphon power before it reached the meter—costing utilities thousands of dollars each month in lost revenue."

The product appeals to electrical contractors with its lightweight aluminum construction, making installation easy. Weighing in at approximately 100 pounds, a single worker can install the unit which saves both the customer and contractor money. In addition, the tap box is UL listed, making it a go-to product for any multi-tenant or commercial site. Finally, the tap box is a cleaner, more attractive solution for taking power from the utility source and disseminating that power to multiple customers.

Utilities are welcoming the new product line, which has already been approved in select geographic areas. Some utilities no longer allow the trough system installations on their grid due to its vulnerability to power theft.

 

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