Builders Bury The True Cost of Energy

Builders Bury The True Cost of Energy

IGT or Not IGT – That is the Question

Have you ever thought about how gas is moved around the country? To get gas delivered straight into most homes and businesses requires a mindboggling network of pipes criss-crossing beneath the ground.

Pipelines around the country supply gas to millions of homes, and the majority of these pipes are owned and operated by one organisation - National Grid gas.

The issue here is that, while National Grid dominates most of the gas transmission market, there are a number of pipes that fall outside of their control, and that is where independent gas transporter networks come in.

Traditionally, all gas pipes were connected to the mains gas network by National Grid Transco. However in a cost cutting exercise, developers use private companies (IGT – Independent Gas Transporters) to lay pipe work, thereby reducing initial connection charges.

Research reveals that over half (56%) of business connected this way in the UK were not aware of the higher charges associated with an IGT network. Furthermore, 96 per cent of them were not informed of this at the time of purchase or rental, leaving them with no alternative but to pick up the additional costs long-term.

Not all suppliers will accept IGT controlled network supplies and those that do are currently charging their customers more for receiving their gas through such networks. These charges are often hidden, resulting in a higher unit rate and / or a yearly supplemental charge.

Over half (54%) of customers do not know which mains gas network they are serviced by and it’s only at the point of switching and / or set-up of their utilities they realise. This can be very frustrating for the customer who is effectively picking up the tab for the developer year on year, and any initial savings made during construction are unlikely to have been passed on to them in terms of property price and / or rental rate.

The research also indicated that 90 per cent of customers felt they should have been told about their gas configuration before committing to a property. A third (32%) cited the developer as the party most responsible for communicating this information whilst the solicitor (18%), vendor (15%) and estate agent (14%) closely followed.

An estimated one million homes and businesses are connected to an IGT network. At present we are facing a situation whereby businesses on the same street may be paying much higher rates for their gas because of where they operate.

Some suppliers not accepting IGT customers are excluding them from certain tariffs and the choice of payment methods can be limited. In an era of soaring energy prices it seems unfair that an increasing number of businesses are paying over the odds and are not receiving the same benefits of competition and choice.

If you are considering taking over a supply during negotiations it may be worth asking what the gas supply number sometimes called and MPRN number is?

If it is not known, just call the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524, and they should be able to point you in the right direction. (Calls to this number cost 7p per min plus your phone company's access charge.)

If the beginning digits of the number are 74, 75, 76, or 77 you have an IGT supply (others are managed by National Grid). If you have one of these number it may be worth you contacting Utility Assist on 0121 510 2205 so we can tell you what the likely cost increase will be?

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