From April this year, businesses were no longer being able to aggregate gas meters together into one supply point. Historically this is often how multi-gas meters at a site were set up, the advantage to the customer being that there was only one transportation and metering charge applicable across a multi-meter Supply point.
From 4 July 2015 all aggregated meters are required to be de-aggregated, so that they are ready for a go-live date estimated to be in the last quarter of 2015. This means that from 4 July 2015 contracts cannot be agreed for aggregated meters – they will be split into single meter points, and nearly all meters will have individual transportation and metering costs applied to them.
Why is this happening?
This is a Gas Industry Programme (known as Project Nexus) that will enable Xoserve to replace its current systems and ultimately support the roll-out of advanced Smart metering. There is an overall goal of moving all UK gas customers onto Smart meters by 2020, therefore this is unavoidable.
Why will costs increase?
Under the rules of aggregated meters, the total consumption of all aggregated meters were added together, and this total is then used to price any contract offer. Generally the higher the usage the lower the rate. So now that aggregated meters are being split off and the meter consumptions looked as separately there is every chance your rates will increase when your current contract comes up for renewal.
Aggregated gas meters have one transportation charge applied, and one metering cost across a multi-meter Supply point. So where a customer pays a standing charge there was only one of these. Under the new system each meter will have a standing charge, as well as transportation charges applying to each meter.
Are there any benefits?
Ultimately the new system will support advanced and Smart metering, so there will eventually be a benefit in accurate consumption data for each meter. The supplier will benefit significantly as aggregated metering is complex to administer for the supplier.
Pretty much all suppliers are currently looking into the impacts this may have on their customers prior to communicating, but it will no doubt increase the cost for customers with currently aggregated gas meters.
What can I do about it?
So unfortunately nothing can be done to avoid the de-aggregation of gas meters. However when your contracts are up for renewal a full market tender will find you the best price available for your gas supplies, and mitigate potentially increased costs as much as possible.
And if you’d like some help, Auditel have the tools, aggregated buying power, independence and knowledge of the supplier market to carry out a completely independent market tender for your any or all of your energy supplies – saving you time as well as money – while you concentrate on your business.