People are stealing about 60% of the electricity generated in Liberia annually by making illegal connections to their homes and businesses, the state-owned power utility has said.
The theft caused annual losses of about $35m (£27m), Liberia Electricity Corporation officials told state radio.
This was robbing the utility of cash for extending power supply, they said.
Liberia is trying to rebuild its power sector, destroyed during a civil war which lasted from 1989 to 2003.
The US is giving financial and technical aid to the West African state to increase connectivity, as part of the Power Africa initiative launched by former US President Barack Obama to bring electricity to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.
But up till now only 12% of Liberians - and less than 20% of residents in the capital, Monrovia - have electricity, one of the lowest access rates in the world.
The government has set itself the target of rolling out electricity to 70% of Monrovia's population of more than one million by 2030.
Have your say
More World Headlines
- Trump-Russia: Special counsel Robert Mueller delivers report
- Cyclone Idai: Cholera cases reported in storm-hit Mozambique
- Corbyn calls for compromise to avoid no-deal Brexit
- Ethiopian plane crash site is called ‘Bad Luck’
- Petition to cancel Brexit hits 1 million signatures
- 3 Burundi schoolgirls face up to 5 years in prison for defacing picture of president
- 'More than 70 dead' as Iraq ferry sinks
- Zambia bans 'Viagra' energy drink
- Pilot who hitched a ride saved lion air 737 day before deadly crash
- Family of 8-year-old Nigerian chess champ in NYC invited by Bill Clinton
- May: I won't delay Brexit beyond June
- Cyclone Idai: Tell the world we are suffering - Mozambique survivors
- Boeing expects 737 Max software fix by end of March
- Cyclone impacted trio get 3.5m EU emergency aid
- Climate Week: African countries encouraged to incentivise its people to keep the forest