A Guide to Commercial Gas Meter Installation

6 mins read

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Explore the process of commercial gas meter installation: key steps, regulatory compliance, and how to leverage smart meter data for business efficiency.

A Guide to Commercial Gas Meter Installation

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In order to both manage your energy costs and your energy consumption it’s important to know how much you’re using, and this is why accurate gas metering should be an essential for your business. Gas prices have risen considerably in recent years, and keeping your costs under control should always include monitoring your usage. 

What is a Business Gas Meter?

A gas meter measures the volume of natural gas needed to fuel your business. They are supplied in many sizes and it is important that your business has the correct meter size or you could be paying a higher standing charge for a gas meter you don't need.

Why Should Businesses Get A Gas Meter Installed?

Avoid Estimated Bills

Estimated bills are unlikely to accurately reflect the amount of energy that you’ve been using. If you’re over-charged, you can get money back but it takes time and effort on your part to do so. If you’re under-charged you will find yourself in debt to your gas supplier and will be unable to switch tariffs until you’ve paid back what you owe in full. 

Reduce Your Bills

Modern gas meters make it easier to monitor your energy usage throughout the day, so you can work out how and where you can save on gas usage. The exact savings will depend on the size and nature of your company, but a new gas meter can help you be smarter about your energy bill.

Keep You On Top of Spending

Modern gas meters can also provide you with ‘real-time’ estimates of your billing, which will allow you to keep a closer eye on your spending. A more precise rundown of your energy usage can also help suppliers bill you for your energy more accurately. Many of today’s meters automatically send your usage figures directly to the supplier, so you’ll no longer have to provide them with readings yourself. 

Different Types of Business Gas Meters

In a market-based energy environment, a range of options have become available to those who are looking to update their meters according to their specific needs. Here are some of the most commonplace. 

Standard Meters

These are the most conventional type of meters. They only use one payment rate so you’ll pay the same price for your gas no matter the time of day. This could be a good option if your business is primarily open for business during normal office hours. 

Evening and Weekend Meters

Evening and weekend meters use two different rates – a cheaper rate for evenings and weekends and a more costly ‘day rate’. These will be beneficial to you if your business is busiest over the weekend or at night, such as bars, clubs, pubs or restaurants. 

Smart Meters

Smart meters are next-generation meters which use the latest wireless technology to automatically send readings to your supplier. They provide accurate billing and are the best way to stay in control of your energy usage and cut your business energy bills.

Multi-Rate Meters

Similar to Evening and Weekend meters, multi-rate meters will have different rates. Two-rate meters charge two separate rates, depending upon the time of day, with the cheaper unit rates usually charged during off-peak hours and a more expensive rate for peak hours. Three-rate meters allow businesses to pay a peak rate, an off-peak rate and a separate rate for weekends.

Do I Need a New Commercial Gas Meter?

There are several different reasons why you might need a new commercial gas meter. You may be moving your company into new premises, or it might be that inconsistent readings mean that your meter is faulty and needs to be replaced. It might also be that your gas meter needs to be updated. If it’s more than ten years old, it’s probably time to update it. 

Can I Install a Commercial Gas Meter Myself, or Do I Need a Professional?

Anything relating to changing your gas supply needs to be dealt with by a professional. Certification needs to be confirmed, and tampering with a gas supply if you’re not a fully certified professional can be extremely dangerous! 

How to Get a New Commercial Gas Meter Installed

If you’ve decided to get a new commercial gas meter installed, these steps will help you to get it done as quickly and effortlessly as possible. 

Make Sure to Have Your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)

The MPRN of your meter allows your supplier to identify which specific meter needs to be replaced. If your premises already has an MPRN, you'll be able to find it on any paperwork the National Grid has sent you regarding your connection.

Check if the Meter is Already Connected

If you do have a meter but you're not sure whether it's currently connected – and you haven't received any communications from the National Grid – then you can call XOSERVE on 0121 260 2890 to ask for your MPRN. You can also visit Find My Supplier and input the necessary information to get this reference number.

Make Sure You Know Which Meter Type You Need

Different commercial gas meters are appropriate for different usage scenarios, so make sure that you know which type of meter is best for you before you start the process of actually changing. The list of meters that we’ve provided above isn’t exhaustive, so check out your full range of options now.  

Negotiate a Price for Your New Meter

Depending on the size of your business and the amount of energy that you use, your rates could be negotiable. Remember that if your contract has expired you could be on a higher tariff than you need to be on. The savings that you could make by switching tariffs could be very significant to your bottom line. 

Arrange an Installation

If your gas is disconnected, you will have to arrange an appointment with your gas provider for installation or connection. Installing and connecting gas is not only a safety concern; it is also a legal issue, so you need to ensure you get a qualified gas engineer to hook you up. Since Ofgem closely controls gas, gas suppliers have engineers and qualified persons available to facilitate installations. 

How Much Does It Cost to Install a New Gas Meter at a Business Property?

The cost of installing a new gas meter will depend on the exact specifics of your requirements. In the broadest possible terms, the cost should be somewhere between around £175 to about £800. But again, this may be negotiable, so make sure you’re prepared to haggle to get the best deal that you can!

How Long Does It Take to Install a New Business Gas Meter?

The amount of time that this takes again depends on your specific circumstances. As a rule, it should take five to fourteen days for a standard installation, but if there are complications it can take up to twelve weeks. It’s recommended that you allow a month for it, and if the new meter is something that you absolutely need you should start the process as soon as is practicable. 

Can I Switch Business Gas Supplier?

You'll normally be able to switch to a new business energy supplier if you're not tied to your contract, so it's important to check when your contract ends. You may also be able to if you're on a tariff you didn't choose to be on, for example, if you've taken over a new premises. Under these circumstances, you'll likely find yourself to be on a 'deemed' tariff. If you’re on a deemed tariff it’s worth switching because these are usually the most expensive tariffs. You can also switch if you're at the end of a fixed-term contract. You usually won't need to pay a fee or give notice to switch. Should you be looking to change suppliers, SwitchPal can help. We have a panel of trusted suppliers and can get the rate which will best suit your exact needs. 

Everybody has been affected by recent price rises in wholesale gas prices, but you can reduce both your costs and your carbon footprint by keeping your meter up-to-date and suitable for your needs. Making the change isn’t excessively expensive, and you might find that you can save a lot of money while reducing your carbon footprint. By acting smart, your business could really benefit from this one simple change.

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