Gas Basics

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Gas supply chain

There are a number of players in the journey to your premises.

Main segments of the gas supply chain

Main segments of the gas supply chain

Gas producers extract gas from both off-shore and on-shore gas fields and process it to remove impurities and produce natural gas.

Transmission network service providers transport bulk gas in high pressure gas transmission lines.

Distributors deliver gas to the majority of end customers. They are also responsible for metering.

Retailers provide billing services to end customers.

Source: Energy Efficiency Exchange (EEX)

Units of Measurement for Gas

Gas consumption is calculated in joules.

The following terms are used for multiples of this unit:

MJ megajoule 1 million joules
GJ gigajoule 1,000 megajoules

Your gas account will show your gas consumption in MJs.

Gas Meters

There are 2 types of gas meters.

Metric gas meter

Metric gas meter

Metric gas meter / Digital gas meter

Metric gas meters measure usage in cubic metres. Either ‘cubic metres’ or ‘m³’ will be marked next to the display window.

The black and white numbers are read from left to right. Any red numbers are ignored.

Imperial gas meter

Imperial gas meter

Imperial gas meter / Dial gas meter

Imperial gas meters measure usage in cubic feet, which will be displayed on the meter’s clock face. This will then be converted to cubic metres.

1 cubic metre = 35.3 cubic feet

These meters have clock faces and dials, with hands rotating in different directions. They are read left to right by taking the lower number if the hand is between two numbers (except if between 0 and 9, which would be recorded as a 9).

Calculating your usage

To calculate your gas charges, your retailer uses a Gas Conversion Factor to convert gas from the units on your meter into the units on which you are billed (megajoules, MJ). This calculation uses figures from your distributor, who is responsible for the gas pipes and meters in your area, and takes into consideration the factors that affect gas (including cubic metres, plus changes in gas pressure and outside temperature).

Last Updated: 
Wed 17/02/2016

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