Gas: getting connected or switching
Natural gas can be used for central heating and to generate electricity for appliances such as your cooker and hob, tumble dryer, real flame fires or outdoor lighting.
You can choose which private company supplies your home with gas. Suppliers offer a range of services and deals and different options on how to pay. Many energy suppliers provide both electricity and gas.
Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) operates and maintains the gas network. You need to contact GNI if you are connecting to the gas network for the first time, or if you are disconnecting completely.
GNI connects all customers to its network regardless of which gas supply company you use. It also has a number of other roles including:
- Providing site works services to customers who wish to have their gas connection altered in some way
- Fixing connection problems
- Making sure gas networks safety and maintenance
- Installing and reading gas meters
- Promoting gas safety awareness
- Operating a 24 hour emergency service line to deal with reports of gas leaks
- Carrying out carbon monoxide safety inspections
This page explains how to connect to a gas service or how to switch suppliers. You can read more about paying your gas bills.
Getting a gas connection
If you are building a home, or moving into a home that has never been connected to the gas network, you must contact GNI to be connected. As the gas network is not available in all parts of the country, you must first check if gas is available in your area. You can do this by using GNI’s Gas Network Map.
If gas is available, you can either:
- Contact GNI to apply and pay for connection works to be carried out
- Contact a gas supplier to sign up to a service and they can organise connection with GNI for you
GNI will install the external gas pipes and meter you need to set up the connection. The internal work on the house, including gas pipes and connection to appliances, must be completed by a Registered Gas Installer (RGI). The RGI must give you a conformance certificate when the internal work has been completed.
If you want to disconnect from the gas supply because of building or renovation work, you must contact GNI for advice.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has more information about getting a gas connection.
Will I need to pay a security deposit?
Your gas supplier is allowed to charge a deposit. Each supplier has its own deposit policy, which must be fair, transparent and reasonable. The deposit must be returned in the bill that you receive after your contract ends (your contract is usually 12 months). Your supplier must tell you if you are at risk of losing your deposit and describe the steps you should take to improve your credit terms.
If you are on a low income and cannot afford to pay a deposit, check if you are eligible for help from your local INTREO office.
The CRU’s Electricity and gas supplier’s handbook (pdf) has more information about security deposits (at page 27).
What happens if I move house?
If you are moving into a property that already has a gas connection, you should contact a gas supplier to set up a new service account. Give your gas supplier a meter reading as soon as possible. If you are renting, your landlord can contact the gas supplier for you.
To avoid the meter being locked or disconnected before you move in, tell the supplier as soon as possible that there will be a change of ownership or occupier.
You do not have to pay for any gas used by the previous occupier.
If you are an existing natural gas customer and you are moving home or want to close your account, contact your supplier in advance to provide a closing meter reading, your new address and the name of the new occupant (if known). If you do not do this, you will be responsible for any gas used at the property.
Switching gas suppliers
If you are not happy with your current gas supplier you can switch supplier. Check if you are in a fixed term contract. If you are, you may be charged for switching to another supplier. As there are many suppliers to choose from, it is important to do your research to find the best option to suit your needs.
Before you switch:
- Check your current bill to see what your usage is, the average amount you pay and how payment is taken
- Find out when your contract with your current supplier ends
- Use a price comparison website
- Try to renegotiate with your current supplier
- Make sure you have your Gas Point Registration Number or GPRN (located on your current bill) and an up-to-date meter reading for the new supplier
The new supplier will tell the old supplier that you will be changing over. The CRU has more information about switching supplier.
What if I change my mind?
If you switch to a new supplier but then change your mind, you can cancel the contract if you signed up less than 14 days ago over the phone, online or at your doorstep. This is called a ‘cooling-off’ period
You can find out more about your consumer rights.
Rules suppliers must follow
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is the regulator of the gas industry.
The CRU has a role to protect energy customers and to promote competition. It does this by putting in place a rulebook called the Supplier Handbook (pdf). Suppliers must have codes of practices covering how they will deal with consumers.
The codes must cover:
- Customer sign-up
- Marketing and advertising
- Complaints handling
- Vulnerable customers
- Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and budget controllers
- Non-domestic customers
Suppliers must have Customer Charters setting out:
- Guaranteed service levels for their customers
- Compensation and refund arrangements when service quality levels are not met.
Every supplier must publish its customer charter and codes on its website. Read more about the regulation of utilities.
How to complain
If you have a problem, first contact either:
- Your gas supplier for issues such as billing, account problems, marketing or advertising, or changing supplier
- GNI for problems such as a faulty meter, connection costs, emergencies, outages, or connection delays
If you cannot sort out the problem informally, you can complain in writing to either your supplier or the network provider.
If you are not happy with the response from your provider, you can:
CRU has more energy information in its dedicated customer information section.
Read more about: