HARMONY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A man was arrested for acting as a Duke Energy employee and tampering with neighbors’ electrical meters, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department.

Mark Absher, 53, is charged with the following:

  • 25 counts of felony damage to Duke Energy equipment
  • 25 counts of felony interfering with electric meters
  • 17 counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense
  • 1 count of conspiracy to commit a felony

Deputies say that Absher went door to door posing as an employee, even wearing the worker uniform, charging neighbors hundreds of dollars to ‘calibrate’ their meters.

Victims say he charged $250-$400 per calibration.

The sheriff’s office says that Duke Energy began investigating after numerous customers throughout the state were experiencing decreased utility bills over an extended period of time. Absher never worked for Duke Energy or for any of their subcontractors.

The sheriff’s office believes there are more customers throughout Rowan County and the state that were tampered with.

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office is also charging Absher with tampering with electric meters in Iredell Counties, as well as at least one drug violation. Mark Absher was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $400,000 secured bond.

Any Duke Energy customer that has been scammed by Absher or anyone else for the “calibration” of their electrical meter should call Duke Energy. The “calibration” that Absher performed makes the electrical meter unsafe for the house it’s connected to.