Operational expenses, including maintenance and installation, can mean the difference between a good or bad year from a financial perspective. Copper theft increases operational costs by (1) requiring the purchase of replacement equipment, (2) causing truck rolls, often to remote locations, to replace pole grounds and (3) potentially damaging other critical infrastructure or equipment that relies on the stolen ground wire. In fact, copper theft has become such a large problem that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning stating that copper theft is a threat to critical homeland infrastructure. Also, in a 2009 survey published by the Electrical Safety Foundation International, utilities in the United States reported approximately $60 million in losses and 450,000 minutes of outage time annually because of copper theft.
CommScope’s GroundSmart® copper-clad steel (CCS) is specifically designed to disperse fault currents and lightning strikes at a lower total cost of ownership compared to solid copper. It is an electrical conductor that has copper metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core. This solution is less susceptible to theft because it is more difficult to cut than pure copper, and it has little or no scrap value. Please review our solutions guide below that outlines the use of CCS as an alternative to solid copper and view the short video from an electric utility that made the move to CCS to meet their grounding needs.