Making sure your energy supplier knows how much gas your business is using from month-to-month can be a real chore – ideally, you should give them a reading at least every month, to make sure your bills are completely accurate.
Although quarterly readings will also do, any less frequent and your bills will be calculated using an estimated figure based upon the size and type of business you run.
Your energy supplier may visit your business to take meter readings, but is only legally obliged to do so every two years, which means you could easily find yourself paying too much or too little – in either case, this can leave you substantially out-of-pocket.
If you get into debt with your supplier, you’ll have to pay back any money you owe before you can switch, which could mean you end up paying more again if you’re stuck on an expensive rate. If you’ve been overpaying then you’ll have the hassle of claiming the money back from your supplier.
In any of these instances, you’ll need to get a new gas meter installed.
If you’ve recently moved into your business premises you might find it doesn’t have access to a gas connection. This is typically because they're moving into a property that doesn't have a meter – or one that has a meter that was previously disconnected. Or, if there is a meter installed, you might find it is taking inaccurate readings.
In other instances, a business that hasn't needed gas in the past may decide that a supply could be useful, or even necessary, in widening its operations.
Whichever situation applies to your business, you can arrange for a new gas meter to be installed at your premises – and you can help the installation process run as smoothly as possible if you can answer some of the following questions:
If your premises already has an MPRN then you'll be able to find this on any paperwork the National Grid has sent you regarding your connection.
If you do have a meter but you're not sure if it's currently connected – and you haven't received any communications from the National Grid – then you can call XOSERVE on 0870 608 1524 to ask for your MPRN.
For businesses in properties that do not have meters and haven't been sent an MPRN, you'll need to contact the National Grid to ask for an MPRN to be created for your property.
Businesses in properties that do have a meter will need to contact the National Grid to check whether or not the meter has been disconnected – as well as asking the Grid to determine if the existing meter is going to be capable of meeting their business's supply needs.
It typically takes the National Grid 15 working days to complete their checks.
Arranging the installation of a gas meter tends to be quicker than getting a new electricity meter fitted, and once you've agreed a gas contract with a supplier they will usually install your meter within five working days.
With this in mind, we recommend contacting us as least two weeks before you need your new meter fitted (see below for contact details). This gives us to time secure a fair rate for your business's gas and arrange the installation of your meter.
Every business that uses gas will have a maximum requirement, which is the total amount of gas its appliances could use in an hour.
You can get a CORGI registered engineer to check your appliances to determine your business's maximum requirement, or ask the National Grid to advise you on what it's likely to be.
Depending on your premises and the positioning of the gas supply, your meter will be fitted either internally or externally.
For buildings with gas pipes that don’t enter the property, the meter will have to be outside, in which case your supplier will most likely provide a box or shelter for the meter.
The pipework installer will be able to let you know what your service pressure will be. Typically it's Low or Medium – although in some instances it can be High, in which case your meter may be more expensive to install.
However, it's useful to note that the service pressure will not affect the prices you pay for the gas that's provided by your supplier.
To get a new business gas meter installed – or an old one reconnected – speak to one of our energy experts on 0800 088 6986. We'll search the market to find a fair deal for your business's gas and arrange the setup of your new meter – all you have to do is ask.
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