IURPA And The Internet:
A Winning Combination
An Editorial by Woody Woodward
Originally published in "Metering International" Magazine (Issue 4: 1998)
Revenue Protection, the most common name used to describe the activities related to (but not limited to) the detection, correction, prosecution and restitution of theft or fraud of all types from utilities, has been a concern to Utilities in North America for over twenty years. Now, with "deregulation" and "direct competition" in effect for some and on the horizon for others, there is even more concern, as Utilities race to protect the "bottom line" and become more efficient and competitive. The estimate of from 2% to 4% non-technical line loss (unmetered use or theft) equates to big dollars in an industry where profit margins will be minimal.
North American Revenue Protection people cringe when they hear the energy theft estimates from other parts of the world. I often hear figures of 39% or higher when South America, Africa, the Soviet Union, and many other countries are mentioned. These countries have many factors that contribute to these numbers, such as society, geography, economy, and age and type of equipment.
IURPA (the International Utilities Revenue Protection Association) was formed to help Revenue Protection departments and people educate their employees and optimize their operations, world wide. Our annual conferences attempt to achieve this through training, advice, networking, and communications. We've done a pretty good job in North America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, but have had problems beyond these areas. One of our biggest problems has been communications. How could we locate those individuals who we know are in need of our assistance when we don't know where they are, and they don't even know we exist? There are millions of utilities both large and small throughout the world that we know must exist, but don't know how to contact the pertinent individuals.
The Internet comes to the rescue!! As more and more Utilities and their employees world wide are hooking up to the Internet, more and more people interested or involved in Revenue Protection are finding out about IURPA through the IURPA Web Site . The Web Site provides conference information for IURPA and its affiliated regional groups. In addition, E-mail contacts, a bulletin board, files available for download, a suggestion page, and countless other features can be found there. If you haven't done so yet, please stop by and visit. Sign our guest book. While you're there, fill out the form to be added to our database for E-mail updates, and to appear on the contact list. If you've already visited, stop by again and see what's new.
At the time of this writing, we have over 360 people on our distribution list, world wide. We have added members from Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Barbados, Ecuador, and Israel, just to name a few. If you aren't on the E-mail list, you're missing out on all the conference announcements and IURPA updates. You are also missing out on sending, and responding to, questions and help requests for and from Revenue Protection People. The E-mail feature alone has been an incalculable aid to the group.
Stop by and visit for a while. Become a member. Remember, IURPA is here to serve you, our membership!!
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