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    Meter reader/nPower say mandatory "Gas Safety Check" needed every 2 years
    • #1
    • 21st Feb 09, 5:24 PM
    Meter reader/nPower say mandatory "Gas Safety Check" needed every 2 years 21st Feb 09 at 5:24 PM
    Gents/Ladies & thanks in advance...

    Recently I had to arrange meter readings at my mum-in-laws house after she'd had to go into a residential home... Mum-in-law's house is her own, so no Landlord Corgi certificate needs for it (as far as I know).

    (Apart from the fiasco of arranging it & nPower incorrectly advising the time of reading...) when the very nice bloke from (?) Lowri Beck (?) turned up he had said he needed to do a "Gas Safety Check" as well as read the meter.

    I'd never heard of such a thing - called nPower and enquired... they said yes there MUST be one done every 24 months, their records showed no check in't last 24 months (so why hadn't they been in contact to arrange it. before I called.) and quoted the "Gas Act 1996" as the legislation requiring it.

    Meter reader when he came just checked the on/off tap/lever by the meter worked...

    Anyone know if there IS a legal requirement for a "Gas Safety Check" by supplier/meter reader and if so what is the legislation?

    (I fully accept the need to be very careful with Gas and take all reasonable steps.. Just not convinced nPower were being entirely straightforward...)

    Cheers guys!

Page 1
  • Magentasue
    • #2
    • 21st Feb 09, 5:29 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Feb 09, 5:29 PM
    I've read on this board that meters need to be read once every two years as a minimum, and that it is the safety check that is the reason for the regulation, rather than the meter reading.
  • Cardew
    • #3
    • 21st Feb 09, 6:06 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Feb 09, 6:06 PM
    It is a requirement for the meters to be read at least every 2 years.

    The term safety check is really a euphemism for checking that the meter hasn't been tampered with - seals intact etc.
  • spiro
    • #4
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:33 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:33 AM
    There is a requirement to do a 'must inspect' every two years. Suppliers have to go as fas a obtaining a warrant to do this.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for 26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • 2912pwil
    • #5
    • 22nd Feb 09, 12:12 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Feb 09, 12:12 PM
    Cardew stated "
    The term safety check is really a euphemism for checking that the meter hasn't been tampered with - seals intact etc. "... hmmnnn - I think you are right....

    I've asked nPower executive.complaints what the act is & if there is a "Safety Check" requirement. - We'll see what the answer is.

    If Cardew is right (I'm pretty sure he is..) then it's daft.. any fair-minded (we all are aren't we..) person would support the need for checks to be made to ensure people aren't tampering with meters.. so why not state that...

    Thanks everyone,

  • ex-energywatch adviser
    • #6
    • 22nd Feb 09, 2:46 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Feb 09, 2:46 PM
    See page 8 in the link below - Licence Condition 12 Inspection of Gas Meters:
  • 2912pwil
    • #7
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:14 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:14 PM
    'sfunny - ex-energywatch adviser - the .pdf you give the link to seems to be headed

    Proposed modification to Standard Licence Condition 17 of the Gas Supply Licence

    so until/unless the PROPOSED modifcation was ratfied and turned into Law (more likely a regulation I think) then it will remain just that, a PROPOSAL.. so having no legal force - or did I miss something ??#

    Last edited by 2912pwil; 22-02-2009 at 8:17 PM. Reason: Posted before completing text fully
  • SwanJon
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:23 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 09, 8:23 PM
    Yes, meters need to be checked every 2 years. It's called a Gas Safety Check because they are checking the safety of the gas equipment around the meter.
    Checking for fiddling is pasrt of it as that is unsafe, but it also includes other issues - accidental damage, rust etc.
    It is not a check of the gas work inside the house as that is the responsibility of the owner.
    I am an employee of British Gas, however the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.
  • savers united
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 09, 11:11 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 09, 11:11 PM
    Mine was carried out 12mths ago when I was with Npower, guy came in for literally 5 mins and said everything was ok.
    I think it is a quick check for illegal activity and to ensure that readings submitted by the homeowner tie up
  • ex-energywatch adviser

    Why don't you just ring Ofgem and they can confirm the 2 year gas meter inspection rule that has always been in place if you think any posters are trying to mislead you?
    Last edited by ex-energywatch adviser; 23-02-2009 at 12:00 AM.
  • ex-energywatch adviser
    Or you could try this link that doesn't say proposal. Either way this has how it has been for years.
  • ex-energywatch adviser
    Or for all of the current Licence conditions.
  • 2912pwil
    Cheers guys... particularly ex-energywatch... (thanked.. )

    nPower executive complaints (email ID in case anyone ever needs them.. of
    ) state

    It is the Gas Act 1986, section 18 - Safety Regulations, details the Gas Safety Inspection and is indeed a legal requirement, which we complete every two years. It is in place to complete a visual check of the gas meter and any gas fittings connected to the gas main. It is also in place to ensure we obtain an up to date reading from the meter.


    whereas the links ex-energy.. led me to Condition 12.8 onwards and talk about an inspection rather than a (Capitalised by nPower) "Gas Safety Check"

    As I'm kinda wound up about this I'm asking nPower for clarification (? are you following this thread nPower??) - and will keep you guys posted, particularly on the question of is it "Section 18" or "Condition 12.8..."


    Last edited by 2912pwil; 23-02-2009 at 11:28 AM. Reason: add email ID of exec complaints left out in error
  • monkeymatt
    What a Joke!!
    I was contacted out of the blue by Npower with a letter saying they are making an "Application to Magistrates court for warrant" to gain access to my house on a date in 2 weeks time. This was to carry out a safety check and perform a meter reading.

    I called the number and arranged an appointment with Lowri Beck and a nice lady turned up today (a lot later than arranged) and all she did was look at the meter, took a reading and said all the pipes are connected and i can't smell gas so it is fine!!! Not exactly what I was expecting from a safety check.

    When I called Npower to ask why they did this they said that they had no record of a meter reading for the past 2 years!! I have had several meter readings done in that time but the lady said that they do not always use them and they do not instruct the third party to call they do it and then contact us and ask if we want the info.

    So all the people that call at your door saying they are here to take a reading are not sent by your supplier and in Npowers case they may not use the info anyway instead they send a letter telling you they are going to court and in 2 weeks they will kick your door down and charge you 150 for the privilege of reading your meter!!!
    They have the internet on computers now!!!
  • Guitar
    I've just received the 'Application to Magistrates' court for Warrant' letter as well.

    If necessary they'll be forcing entry to my home in 10 days time and I'll be charged a minimum of 150 court costs.

    I had received a letter asking me to arrange an inspection with them but I ignored it because they inspected last year + couple meter readings since. (Landlord also gets gas safety inspections each year.) Last time I had to take the day off work for them but the last few months I haven't been able to do.

    I suspect this has more to do with the fact I wasn't happy with my last bill which was 200 over estimated.

    I really annoyes me that a company thinks they can treat their customers like this but at the same time I'm kindda bemused if they think they'll still have a customer here after they've threatened to kick in my front door.
  • Pssst
    Presumably this is a visual inspection only as to do some kind of credible safety check,the inspector would have to have formal technical qualifications and certification? Presumably then,having done their safety check,if you then had a leak,would they be liable or reportable under RIDDOR for not having detected a dangerous or potentially dangerous condition? Do they for example,flag up issues such as leakage,no earthing,over pressure,underpressure etc?
  • frugallass
    I've just received the 'Application to Magistrates' court for Warrant' letter as well.
    Originally posted by Guitar
    I had the same thing - and I ignored the postcards for the same reasons as you......the threat of court made me call them and after being on hold for about 10 minutes the girl said, "oh we don't need to do the check now, just ignore the postcard"......
  • Pssst
    Referring to the Gas Act 1986 paragraph 18

    Withut digging too deeply, i suspect that gas companies are in fact abusing and misrepresenting the legislation.

    This section of the Gas Act is actually meant for the purposes of bestowing legal powers of entry and enforcement on those engaged in the operation of the national gas emergency service so that they can carry out their duties without let or hindrance for the purposes of ensuring the preservation and safety of life and property where they have cause to suspect a hazardous situation for eg... a neighbour smells gas, gas emergency person turns up,detects gas in a neighbouring property ..the legislation allows him to enter by force if necessary if the property is unoccupied. If he is impeded then he may seek Police assistance and those impeding him may be guilty of an offence.

    It has little or nothing to do with reading meters.

    Such persons must be authorised officers.

    Are meter readers authorised officers within the meaning of the Act?

    how about ringing your supplier and asking them ?

    I think they are abusing/misquoting the legislation.
  • Gman0365
    GAS ACT 1986
    Standard conditions of
    gas supply licence

    Inspection of Gas Meters

    12.8 Unless the Authority otherwise consents, the licensee must take all reasonable
    steps to ensure that it inspects, at least once every two years, any Gas Meter and
    associated installation in respect of premises at which it is the Relevant Gas

    12.9 Where the licensee has been the Relevant Gas Supplier for less than two years,
    the period of two years referred to in paragraph 12.8 will be deemed to expire on
    a date specified in a notice given by the Relevant Gas Transporter which has been
    sent to the licensee by:
    (a) the Relevant Gas Shipper; or
    (b) the Relevant Gas Transporter, where the licensee is the Relevant Gas
    at least four months in advance of that date.

    12.10 In paragraph 12.8, the reference to "all reasonable steps" includes, in particular,
    trying to obtain a warrant under the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards)
    Act 1954 in cases where the licensee could not otherwise comply with its

    12.11 Paragraph 12.8 does not apply in relation to Secondary Premises.

    12.12 An inspection under paragraph 12.8 must be carried out by a person possessing
    appropriate skill and experience.

    12.13 An inspection under paragraph 12.8 must include:
    (a) taking a meter reading;
    (b) inspecting the Gas Meter and associated installation for evidence of
    (c) inspecting the Gas Meter and associated installation for evidence that the
    meter has not continuously been in position for the purpose of registering
    the quantity of gas supplied;
    Standard conditions of 25
    Gas Supply Licence
    (d) arranging for information in respect of any gas leakage identified in the
    vicinity of the Gas Meter to be passed on in accordance with the Gas
    Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 as if the licensee had been
    informed of that leakage;
    (e) inspecting the Gas Meter for any evidence of deterioration which might
    affect its safety or proper functioning; and
    (f) where necessary, and subject to the consent of the owner of the Gas Meter,
    changing any batteries in the meter.

    12.14 Nothing in sub-paragraphs 12.13(a) to (e) requires the licensee to disassemble any
    part of the Gas Meter.

    12.15 Paragraph 12.16 applies where the Relevant Gas Transporter does not record
    (a) any inspection carried out in accordance with paragraph 12.8; and
    (b) any meter readings taken by authorised officers of the licensee,
    and the Relevant Transporter has informed the licensee that it has not made such

    12.16 Without prejudice to paragraph 12.8, the licensee must ensure that an inspection
    of a Gas Meter and associated installation takes place on each occasion on which
    the meter is read by one of its authorised officers.

    This is clearly the job of a meter reader to complete the safety check. It is a simple visual inspection to ensure all is in order. I often receive jobs that have come from meter readers stating that there is no handle on the emergency control valve. Its that sort of thing they are asked to look out for. Its not the meter readers job to replace the handle, so they pass it to the relevent gas transporter. The customer may not have been aware that the handle was missing and as such it's important that these regular checks are completed. As stated it does also allow the gas supplier to pick up on Theft Of Gas situations which are then reported to the national gas emergency service for further investigation.

    Also any engineer working on behalf of National Grid Metering confirms on his/her laptop that that "Supplier Safety Check" has been carried out. The default answer is yes - satisfactory, however the other options to select from are "Evidence of tampering", "evidence of leakage", "evidence of deterioration" or "battery changed". I believe when this was introduced it was decided that the gas supplier would pay the company doing the inspection a few extra pounds simply because it would save them sending out a meter reader to do it.
  • MoneyMadness
    We are with NPower too and have been harrassed by Lowri Beck for the last 6 months. He would turn up, and I would answer the door and I would explain that I don't have keys to the Garage and he would have to come back on Saturday, then the same guy would turn up the next day (not Saturday) and we would go through the same thing again. After about 2 weeks of this he finally came on a Saturday and 'looked' at the meter and took a meter reading.

    Then 4 weeks later, he turned up again, to do another gas safety inspection. By this point we blew our tops and raised a complaint with NPower who said they had no appt schedule for a gas safety and to call the police if he came back.

    Now it has been 3 months since that episode and guess what ... he's back. Been back twice - each time I say the inspection was done in February and we have spoken to NPower and they say no inspection is due. Today he sat in his car for 25 min outside our house. I phoned NPower again, and they say he's probably there on the off-chance to get a meter reading. Well he specifically said it was a for a gas-safety inspection. So something is fishy... he didn't inspect ANYONE elses meter just drove off. I got his licence plate... but after reading the posts here I think there is a problem with NPower.

    They did say in one of the numerous conversations we had was that they were migrating to a different system - so maybe that was the problem.

    Grrrrr. I can't seem to get a straight answer out of anyone. I'm so mad I want to put a gate up so people can't come on the property...
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