Call for Action on Illegal and Dangerous Meter Connections

Two business executives are expressing concern about industry estimates that 90 percent of connections to third party UK primary gas meters are illegal.

Martin Wardell of MWA Technology Limited, an independent metering supplier and Steve Lewis of Apex Engineers are so concerned that the national gas industry standard is being ignored, that they have combined to launch a service to offer site surveys and are striving to alert the industry to act.

Wardell explains: "There's a growing requirement for real time monitoring of gas consumption among owners and landlords of large retail and commercial companies. These companies are turning to energy monitoring companies - many not from the gas industry - to install equipment which enables them to connect to the third party fiscal meters and send consumption data directly to a central point.

"In order to do this they connect to a pulse output socket in the meter, but making this connection is regulated and should only be undertaken by an authorized person using a safe method. Such a person is required to follow national guidelines, which include a site survey, adherence to safety procedures and the provision of suitable documentation. Permission must be obtained from the 'owner' of the gas meter and the installation has to be registered with the meter owner.

"The installation must be undertaken safely as detailed in full in the IGEM GM7 - Parts 'A' and 'B' section of the standard. The meter owner can remove an unrecognised and/or unsafe installation. Furthermore, the barrier required should be installed in a sealed enclosure which is labelled with full details of the owner," explained Wardell.

"It seems many contractors are completely unaware of this," said Wardell.

According to Steve Lewis - whose company is authorized to conduct site surveys by National Grid - safety issues are being overlooked. "We are not saying that companies are deliberately ignoring the requirements, indeed for most, there is a widespread lack of awareness on the issue," said Lewis.

"The national standard however is designed to protect meters from the danger of spark-inducing voltage and also to avoid equipment being positioned too close to dangerous and hazardous areas where explosions could take place, especially in the event of a leakage near the meter," explained Lewis.

"A major consequence of ignoring the standard could at worst be a fatal explosion or disconnection and removal of equipment. The situation threatens many of our major companies and institutions, especially those with multiple locations," said Lewis.

The partnership between meter equipment supplier, MWA Technology and power and energy consultancy, Apex Engineers, provides a site survey service to site owners, landlords, contractors and businesses wishing to ensure that their gas connections are safe, in accordance with regulations and logged by the meter owner.

"Our aim is to make more people aware of the regulations which are significant in terms of safe connections. A complete service is offered to ensure connections are made correctly, safely and ready for any future changes. We can inspect retrospectively and - if the connection conforms to standards - authorize and register the connection. We also run a certificated engineer training course to enable safe connections and connection registration in accordance with IGEM GM7," explained Lewis.

To find out more contact: MWA on 0121 327 7771 (

For further information please email MWA Technology Limited

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