Following MEUC action after several members raised issues they were suffering in relation to enforced gas transmission charges, we are pleased to announce that from today these charges have now been reduced.

Yesterday evening (11 May 2020) Regulator Ofgem approved three code modifications that will help combat gas transmission charges during the current Covid 19 period. 

The code modifications are:
0722 – allows the shipper to provide estimated meter reading
0723 – allows sites to be marked as isolated without physical isolation thereby reducing transportation costs
0724 – allows sites to breach their maximum capacity without penalty if responding to the crisis.

We wholly recommend to members that if you fall in any category to benefit from these changes that you contact your supplier immediately as the modifications go live today (12 May 2020)

The full text of Ofgem’s Decision

Background
Highlighted by members as the lockdown took effect in late March, Eddie Proffitt, MEUC’s Technical Director wrote to Ofgem’s Chief Executive on 6 April outlining issues members were facing as they coped with site changes and closures caused by the pandemic. Detailing take and pay, contract issues and transportation charges, Eddie encouraged Ofgem that more discussion and a resolution was needed following the lack of a decision at the UNC Distribution Workgroup at the end of March. This continued with a conference call with Ofgem officials to further provide detail.

Looking for support, Eddie went on to attend webinar after webinar during April and held discussions with network operators and gas suppliers to continue to drive home the message to industry that this should be resolved.

“On the issue of gas transportation charges, where 95% are capacity related (meaning you pay the charge even when you are not taking gas), I first raised this with Xoserve who told me that some shippers were showing concern. I then spoke to a couple of shippers to encourage them to investigate options, this was followed when I raised it with one of our members Northern Gas Networks who responded very swiftly by raising a UNC modification’” Eddie explained.

On 21 April, Northern Gas Networks (an MEUC Member) put forward and raised mod 0723 and 0724 and deserve our thanks.

With a decision looking imminent Eddie continued to press Ofgem all of last week as to the unacceptable delay in confirming the modifications following their unanimous acceptance on 30 April. The confirmation from Ofgem and linked to above, coming at close of play last night.

As with many of us, Eddie is not one to look for praise, but his work on members’ behalf over the past six weeks has been above and beyond that which we could have expected. He deserves our thanks for all the efforts he undertakes to provide fairness for end users in a complicated industry.

Eddie and the rest of the MEUC Team are here to help voice your concerns and will continue to do so as we tackle future challenges together, including pressing for relief from electricity DNO charges.