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The Copper Theft Outbreak

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How utilities can stand firm to protect the power grid

BY THE CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION (CEA)

Copper is a ductile and malleable metallic element that conducts heat and electricity. It is widely used for electrical wiring, water piping, and corrosion-resistant parts. In addition, copper is the preferred electrical conductor in almost all categories of electrical wiring and is used extensively in power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. An added advantage is that copper also allows utility workers to perform repairs on electricity facilities without fully powering them down, ensuring that Canadians and businesses have uninterrupted electricity service. As such, copper components can be found on the vast majority of transmission and distribution towers, poles and substations located in every part of the country, from the smallest town to Canada’s largest cities.

COPPER: A VALUABLE COMMODITY
The RCMP Gazette reports that the value of copper in Canada has increased 209 percent over the last 10 years. Although the price of copper has decreased slightly in recent years, it remains very valuable and scrap metal dealers are still eager to buy copper.

Unsurprisingly, as the price of copper has increased, so have copper thefts from electricity infrastructure. Although utilities are constantly reviewing and improving security procedures, sharing best practices with other utilities, and participating in working groups and coalitions with other stakeholders, and despite the fact that some provinces have recently implemented new laws and regulations to address copper theft, the problem persists.


Read the full article in our digital magazine

LEAD-IMAGE7


How utilities can stand firm to protect the power grid

BY THE CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION (CEA)

Copper is a ductile and malleable metallic element that conducts heat and electricity. It is widely used for electrical wiring, water piping, and corrosion-resistant parts. In addition, copper is the preferred electrical conductor in almost all categories of electrical wiring and is used extensively in power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. An added advantage is that copper also allows utility workers to perform repairs on electricity facilities without fully powering them down, ensuring that Canadians and businesses have uninterrupted electricity service. As such, copper components can be found on the vast majority of transmission and distribution towers, poles and substations located in every part of the country, from the smallest town to Canada’s largest cities.

COPPER: A VALUABLE COMMODITY
The RCMP Gazette reports that the value of copper in Canada has increased 209 percent over the last 10 years. Although the price of copper has decreased slightly in recent years, it remains very valuable and scrap metal dealers are still eager to buy copper.

Unsurprisingly, as the price of copper has increased, so have copper thefts from electricity infrastructure. Although utilities are constantly reviewing and improving security procedures, sharing best practices with other utilities, and participating in working groups and coalitions with other stakeholders, and despite the fact that some provinces have recently implemented new laws and regulations to address copper theft, the problem persists.

Read the full article in our digital magazine

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