Gas. It’s an underrated three-letter word that perhaps I’d overlooked. That is until I was told my gas was going to be turned off for the next fortnight. I’ve been offered compensation, but is it enough?
To give you some background, I live in a block of flats (a period conversion if you’re interested). And a couple of evenings ago one of my neighbours smelt gas, which turned out to be the result of a gas leak.
As the National Grid considers this a gas emergency; its engineers came along and turned off the juice. They arrived with fan heaters and electric hobs for every flat in the building and assured us they were investigating the leak.
Going without gas
I thought it would be a temporary problem. But alas, our building is filled with asbestos, and so a full survey is required before any work can continue. This means we’re to be without a gas supply for two, maybe three weeks.
‘Surely I can’t be without hot water for three whole weeks?’ I thought. But it seems I can.
The Gas Act states that your Gas Transporter (GT), in my case National Grid, must supply heating and cooking alternatives. As I have a kettle and cooking facilities to boil hot water, it’s not considered essential to provide an alternative source. It’s a bit of a pain to be honest.
However, Ofgem does say my GT should reconnect the gas within 24 hours. But of course, the asbestos problem means it can’t.
In this case, National Grid has offered to pay compensation. For a domestic user, like me, this is £30 for every 24 hours the gas is off. This payment goes to my energy supplier when the gas is reconnected, which then passes it on to me.
Compensation vs convenience
So for the next three weeks I will be boiling plenty of kettles, embracing the gym (and its showers) and the kindness of friends (who still have magical gas in plentiful supply).
I’m pleased I’ll be compensated for the inconvenience, but do you think £30 a day is enough? Have you ever had your gas cut off, and were you compensated accordingly?