Ofgem has launched a consultation on the subject of gas theft, proposing that suppliers should pay into an industry-wide pot to cover the cost of fighting the problem.
Gas theft usually refers to consumers not paying for gas they use by tampering with supply systems to bypass their meters.
It has cost each UK household about £6 a year over the past three years, Ofgem said, citing a group of industry experts.
Paul Blacklock of Calor said: “Fuel theft is increasingly an issue in rural areas too, but there it takes a slightly different form.
“With the rising cost of oil, homeowners are seeing their oil heating tanks being siphoned off.
“For users of bulk LPG, this is fortunately not an issue, owing to the nature of how the fuel is stored.”