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New business gas meter: what you need to know


A new gas meter can cause headaches if you have a new gas connection or take over an existing business gas supply. Our guide should help.

 

How long does it take to get a business gas meter?

We advise UK SMEs looking to switch business gas supplier to allow at least two weeks (although the process is generally faster than for a business electricity meter). Once you have a formal contract agreed with a business gas supplier (for which we can take care of all the details), they will usually fit the meter in five working days.

What is a live/dead test and do I need one?

When moving into new premises your business gas supply will need to be checked to ensure it has not disconnected. The National Grid must perform a live or dead check. You can either go to NG direct or, if you have used SwitchMyBusiness.com, give us a call (or request a call back using our form). Either way, your business gas supply will need another check to establish the capacity (and ensure this is adequate). The whole process should take around 15 working days.

What are maximum gas requirements and how do they affect me?

Maximum gas requirements, usually defined as a maximum hourly load or maximum annual load, are the total amount of gas you can use measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), British Thermal Units (BTU), cubic meters or cubic feet. You can get the details from a CORGI registered engineer or the National Grid. Unless, you are a very intensive business gas user, you will usually be unlikely to get close to this limit.

Do I need an internal gas meter or an external gas meter?

The answer is a relatively straightforward: if the gas pipes enter the building, you need an internal business gas meter. If the gas pipes do not enter your building you need an external business gas meter. Suppliers are able to provide meter housing for this, but you may find that the distributor is already providing this.

What is the service pressure of the supply?

Most business gas providers will supply low pressure (LP) or medium pressure (MP), although some may provide intermediate pressure (IP) or high pressure (HP). Your business gas prices will be the same whatever the pressure of the supply. But higher pressure gas supplies do usually mean a more expensive gas meter.

What is a Gas Transporter 1 Test (GT1 Test) and do I need one?

If you need a gas installation but your pipes no longer have a meter attached (perhaps because of vandalism or theft), unpaid bills by previous occupants, or simply because gas is no longer required. The GT1 Test is needed to find out the nature your business gas supply before a new gas meter is attached. An engineer will usually need to visit your site (but this can sometimes be done remotely). The process can take as little as two working days and as long as two weeks (or sometimes longer), although it usually takes around a week. You should expect the capacity of the gas pipe in kilowatts (kW), the pressure (low pressure or LP, medium pressure or MP, intermediate pressure or IP, and high pressure or HP), a live-dead test, the size and type of Emergency Control Valve (ECV), usually in inches or millimetres (mm) and screwed or threaded valve connection type.

How to find your Meter Point Reference Number (MPR/MPRN)

Finding your MPR and reading your gas meter is covered in our helpful guide. But if you feel you need more help or want us to quickly compare business gas suppliers, give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form).

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