Residents of Vladivostok who fail to pay their electricity bills will be identified by having a cartoon sticker of a cockroach placed on the cover of their meters. In addition consumers are being encouraged to call a hotline and report incidents of electricity theft. If the theft is confirmed, the person who reported it will be paid a reward – but only if and when the culprit has paid his debts.
The local utility is also running a television campaign, which warns that it is ‘open season’ on non-payers, who are described as pests – with a sign that identifies them as such on their meters. Good payers, on the other hand, have a sticker of a friendly ElectroMan stuck onto their meters. The utility hopes that these efforts will appeal to people’s consciences; campaign results are not yet available.