Thieves targeting copper to sell as scrap
Hydro One is dealing with an expensive problem – the theft of copper.
Around $2 million worth of copper is stolen from Hydro One each year.
Copper has a high recycling value and thefts are common, according to police.
“So far this year we have seen about 10 cases of copper thefts,” says Barrie Police Constable Angela Butler. “Some of that does include metal scraps as well.”
Recycling yards have difficulty determining if the copper they’re paying for has been stolen or not.
Hydro One uses copper mainly in grounding equipment, but says an alternative to copper is available and they’re looking into using that more as a way to combat the thefts.
“It's called copper bonded metal,” says Hydro One’s Chief Security Officer Ron Gentle. “It's been widely used in the U.S. for a while now and other parts of Canada.”
The copper bonded metal has less value than copper, and won’t be as attractive to thieves.
They hope to replace all the copper with the new material over the next few years.