Copper thefts at Green Mountain Power substations are now
reaching the point where thieves are threatening the lives of
utility workers and the nearby public.
Over the past two months, as many as four Green Mountain Power
sub-stations have been vandalized, compromising the safety and
integrity of these facilities.
"Our greatest fear is that there will be an incident where a
life will be lost," says Green Mountain Power safety director Matt
"Whether it is that of a vandal, one of our employees or an
unsuspecting child wandering into a substation left unsecured by
thieves, these events could quickly turn into tragedies."
At one substation, the thieves cut the lock to the gate, which
created a public hazard by allowing access to a dangerous
Emergency outages have been necessary in some situations,
interrupting service to thousands of customers in order to safely
complete the repairs. The inconvenience and cost to customers are
outweighed by the safety risk not only to the vandals, but to
utility employees and the public.
"Every piece of wire in a substation serves a purpose in
delivering electricity," McCoy said. "The risk of death or
maiming vandals expose themselves to in cutting wire from a
substation is mind-boggling."
Green Mountain Power asks people to be alert to non-utility
vehicles or people near substations. If you observe suspicious
activity, please call us at 1-888-835-4672.