As we have established previously, gas is far cheaper per unit of energy than electricity. For many people without a gas supply, electricity is their only option, but have you tried to see how much a new gas connection would cost? Is it financially viable for your home?
How much does a gas supply cost?
This really does vary depending on your property, but there are a few important things that you need to consider which will contribute significantly towards the cost of the connection:
- Has the property had gas in the past and been disconnected? If so, it is often fairly simple to reconnect you and the cost is likely to be a few hundred pounds.
- How close is the nearest gas line? If your neighbours or others on the street have gas, then chances are that there is a gas supply right on your doorstep and it just needs a pipe running a few metres to your house. The cost in this instance should be under a thousand pounds.
- Are you in a rural part of the country? If you are outside towns or cities it is quite likely that a gas supply quite hard to obtain to your property. In this case costs could spiral into £1000s just to get connected, making it quite an expensive option.
- Are you in a flat above the ground floor? Flats tend to have complications as the pipe will need to run through other people’s property. High rise properties also suffer with issues of gas pressure. These types of properties tend to cost thousands of pounds to connect.
The National Grid (one of the Gas Distribution Network companies) give a list of the various prerequisites that need to be met for what they call a ‘standard charge’ installation. You can find them in the connection document here. If your property meets all of those criteria, chances are the cost of your gas line will be in the order of hundreds rather than thousands of pounds.
Who installs your gas supply?
To supply gas to a property it must first be connected to the gas grid. If the property is not connected to a gas grid then a Gas Distribution Network (GDN or GT) company can provide a connection from the nearest supply to the gas meter of your property.
It is the responsibility of GDNs companies such as National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, Southern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities to maintain these networks and also offer options for new customers to connect should they wish to. To find out which GT can supply your property with a new connection please visit the following OFGEM document by clicking here.
You can speak to your gas supply company (retailer) such as British Gas, E.ON, SSE, EDF, etc in the first instance on what is the best way to proceed with getting connected to the gas grid. The gas supplier will in most cases advise for you to get a quote from the GDN, an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT) or a Utility Infrastructure Provider (UIP).
Other options to connect to a gas supply
To ensure the market is as competitive as possible, OFGEM have designed a framework that also allows other organisations such as IGTs and UIPs to also provide this connection service in certain instances.
Utility Infrastructure providers tend to procure for connections to the gas grid on new housing developments or new commercial premises. However according to the OFGEM guidelines you can ask one of these companies to procure a connection to your property.
For example, if you live in a community where there are a number of existing properties that do not have a connection to a gas supply, then the term ‘infills’ is usually applied to the gas connection project. These are often remote communities situated some distance from a relevant gas main.
If a number of local residents gather together and request that an infill project is undertaken, the GT will determine the connection charge at the beginning of the scheme and apply a similar charge to all requests for a connection to the main for a maximum period of twenty years.
These charging arrangements are provided for under the Gas (Connection Charges) Regulations, see here for more details.
Therefore if you have recently moved into a remote community and the neighbours are connected to the gas network but your property is not, then according to the regulations, as long as you find out what the infill project rates were, then those same rates can be applied to connect your property – even if the original project was nearly 20 years ago. This could therefore save you quite a lot of money.
Is it worth getting a gas supply?
If you have an idea of the cost, you need to decide if it is going to be worth it long term. Obviously in the short term the cost is going to be significant, as not only will you need to pay for a gas connection, you also will need to pay for the installation of a boiler, radiators and pipework. This involves installing pipework from the meter to the boiler and additional pipework to provide the heating via radiators or underfloor heating.
To get an idea of the savings involved, you can take a look at your EPC or Green Deal Report and check the savings that are suggested by switching to gas heating. Depending on the size of the property you could see savings ranging from £200-£800 a year – it really can be that different.
Compare this to the cost of installing a boiler and making a gas connection. This cost can range from a modest heating system in a ground floor flat starting around £4,000, to a 4 bed semi for as much as £8,000.
As you can see, the big up-front cost won’t pay back over night, but a 10-15 year payback is actually pretty good when you compare with other money saving improvements like double glazing. And once you’ve paid back that cost, you are going to be saving a huge amount on your energy bills.
Installing a new boiler
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