Keeping you safe and warm

Posted on: 06/08/2015

We know that working in communities can be disruptive, but this is the only way that we can be sure that we can keep the gas flowing to our 2.7 million gas customers who rely on us for a safe and reliable gas supply. When we say we are working on essential gas works, we really do mean essential.

We are now 12 years into our 30-year gas pipe replacement programme across Wales and the south west of England, which we agreed with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). We are replacing old metal gas pipes within 30 metres of buildings with new, long lasting plastic ones that have a life of more than 80 years.

Essential Gas Works - Plastic Pipe Replacement

Safety is always our number one priority, and replacing old metal gas pipes is essential in making sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable supply of gas now and in the future. Replacing the old metal gas pipes, over the life of the programme, will be an investment of approximately £2 billion in the gas network across the area we serve. You can check if we are working in your area here

One of our business priorities is to provide a reliable gas supply for our customers and at the same time protect and help the environment for today and for the future. Our replacement programme helps us do this, with the new plastic pipes significantly reducing gas leaks, and therefore our carbon footprint.

We plan our work by identifying those metal pipes that are deteriorating and designing a programme to replace them. This means we won’t then have to carry out ad-hoc repairs to the gas pipes, which are costly and disruptive. We replace more than 400km of old metal pipe every year.

We like to keep our customers informed of what we are planning and have discussed the replacement programme with customers and representative groups to explain how this impacts on prices and ultimately their bills. Their opinion was wholeheartedly in agreement with us for us to continue our replacement programme, understanding the cost impact this would have on bills.

Our costs make up about 16% of the average customer gas bill. By 2020 our annual replacement programme will cost our customers about £2.40 each per year. We think this offers people real value for money and the comfort of knowing that they are continuing to receive a safe and reliable gas supply.

Rob Long

Wales & West Utilities Director of Operations