Electricity theft can be in the form of fraud (meter tampering), stealing (illegal connections), billing irregularities, and unpaid bills. Estimates of the extent of electricity theft in a sample of 102 countries for 1980 and 2000 are undertaken. The evidence shows that theft is increasing in most regions of the world. The financial impacts of theft are reduced income from the sale of electricity and the necessity to charge more to consumers. Electricity theft is closely related to governance indicators, with higher levels of theft in countries without effective accountability, political instability, low government effectiveness and high levels of corruption. Electricity theft can be reduced by applying technical solutions such as tamper-proof meters, managerial methods such as inspection and monitoring, and in some cases restructuring power systems ownership and regulation.