As gas is transported across the UK, an amount is inevitably lost due to issues such as unregistered meters, pipe leaks and theft of gas by some end users. The cost of this gas is proportionately recovered by charging set rates to all users of gas, known as unidentified gas charges.
Recent changes to the industry regulations and framework for the transportation of gas has resulted in gas customers, in particular non-daily metered, potentially facing large increases to the unidentified gas element of their bills.
These changes took effect as of June 2017. As many suppliers absorb the cost of unidentified gas themselves and do not pass them on to customers, the effect of the changes has not been immediately obvious. However, some suppliers have not been able to justify absorbing these costs following the changes and have included them on invoices raised for September gas consumption.The changes increase existing unidentified charges by a factor of ten.
So, what was previously a minor element of a bill has quickly become a large and considerably disproportionate charge, especially when customers have more than one gas supply to account for.
We believe it is likely that the feedback suppliers will receive as a result of these increases to the charges will prompt a further review of the costs, to bring them back down to a more reasonable level. Until that time, it remains at the discretion of the supplier to pass these costs on to customers or not.