CEZ Bulgaria Denies Safety Measure Constitutes Discrimination
The Bulgarian subsidiary of Czech power distributor CEZ has said it hopes that a Bulgarian court will take into account the importance of protecting human life and security of the grid when it rules on a customer complaint of some power meters being installed too high.
The mounting of electrical meters to tall street poles out of easy reach for household consumers “is being carried out mainly in areas where a large number of incidents including death have been registered as a result of criminal encroachment on the network,” CEZ said in a statement issued in reaction to an opinion issued by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
The court has ruled that the practice of placing power meters in districts inhabited predominantly by Roma higher than in other areas constitutes discrimination.
CEZ said it has installed the meters higher in certain areas because of the real risk of abuse and encroachment on the network, which result in endangering human lives and health.
“Four people have died as a result of unauthorized interference and theft from electricity facilities in the last three months alone (April-June 2015),” CEZ said.
In yet another incident, a fifth victim was reported on Friday. CEZ said in a separate statement a 37-year old man was killed in the village of Galiche, Vratsa Region in northwestern Bulgaria while attempting to illegally connect his home to the company’s power distribution network the previous day.
“In its opinion, the Court of Justice of the European Union accepts that protecting the security of the grid and proper monitoring of electricity consumption are legitimate targets, which in principle could justify different treatment,” CEZ commented.
Sofia City Administrative Court is expected to rule on the complaint.
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