Standing charges for not using gas

I live in a victorian terraced house and when our gas boiler recently broke, we decided to replace it with a Mitsubishi Ecodan Air Source Heat Pump. We’ve been really pleased with the results and it feels great to reduce our carbon footprint further. For anyone else interested in this, you can read about how we did this on my blog post about removing a gas boiler and replacing with a heat pump.

The main disappointment from me has been the cost of removing the gas supply. Bulb want to charge £120 for meter removal and the gas network operator wants to charge in the region of £1000, so we have to keep paying £74 a year standing charge.

This was surprising and not great considering the cost already made by us in making the change to renewable heat and hot water at home. If Bulb is serious about making an impact and reducing carbon emissions to tackle climate change, I have a question!

Would Bulb consider a £0 rate standing charge for members who have removed their gas boilers and have no further need for gas?

As a present customer, my options to avoid a standing charge are to either pay the costly removal fees or switch my gas supply to another company with a tariff that does not have a standing charge for gas (such as Ebico).

Doing the latter is the only real option, cost wise - but Bulb would be missing a trick here. If the transition away from fossil fuels needs to be achieved at the rates being proposed (and we do!) then we need energy companies to come up with new ideas to enable people to do this. A million people a year by 2025 can’t be expected to pay £1000+ removal fees. Barriers need to come down, we need new ideas.
If Bulb were to provide the ability for those who’ve removed their gas boilers to switch to £0 standing charge for gas (losing any duel-fuel discounts), Bulb could be seen to be offering a solution to this emerging area, which is great PR and it also helps add reassurance for people making the transition, ultimately helping to reduce carbon emissions.

In terms of a process for something like this, note that as someone who has removed my boiler, I can easily show evidence of my gas meter, with its serial number and it’s outbound pipework (which would normally head into the house) capped off.

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Doh! Just noticed this is in the wrong forum. Reposted to About Bulb (say it is pending approval).
Or, if a mod can move this one please.

Once the meter is removed, doesn’t that mean the supply is capped? No meter = no standing charge? At which point you need to decide if it’s worth £1000’s to have the pipe work removed…

“(losing any duel-fuel discounts)”
There aren’t any :slight_smile:

Once the meter is removed, doesn't that mean the supply is capped? No meter = no standing charge? At which point you need to decide if it's worth £1000's to have the pipe work removed..

“(losing any duel-fuel discounts)”
There aren’t any :slight_smile:

You can’t remove the meter until the supply is disconnected (meaning it’s safe to do so).

Whilst I understand your predicament, I very much doubt Bulb (or any supplier) would zero-rate a standing charge. The cost will be charged to Bulb regardless, and so it has to be passed on to you. I agree there should be some incentive for those who are de-gassing their property.

Whilst I understand your predicament, I very much doubt Bulb (or any supplier) would zero-rate a standing charge.

I understand there are some suppliers with zero standing charge but they tend to increase their unit prices to compensate?

I understand there are some suppliers with zero standing charge but they tend to increase their unit prices to compensate?

That’s a good point. I’d forgotten about those sort of tariff. I haven’t seen any for ages, I wonder if anyone still offers them?

I remember when I looked at this, for “normal” usage the two types (standing charge, no standing charge) worked out exactly the same. The initial higher unit rate had exactly the sum total of the standing charge built into the higher price. The only way the “no standing charge” tariff worked out cheaper is if you could guarantee keeping your usage below the limit of the first rate. For someone not using gas at all, that would be easy. Although I doubt the tariff is really intended for someone not making any usage at all, since the supplier would still have to cover the fees they pay to the network operator, so the intention is of course to get their money back via the higher initial rate.

@tomkiss it sounds like your best bet is to look for a supplier with a “no standing charge” gas tariff. As you’ve said it does mean you would miss out on any dual fuel discount available, but that would also still apply if you removed the gas supply completely. It would be interesting to see what an energy supplier would make of someone on such a tariff that has no usage at all and every bill is £0. Clearly if all their customers did that it would be unsustainable. But it’s likely your best option for now until such a time regulations and charges catch up with people degassing.

Is there any one at Bulb who has any thoughts on this?

Is there any one at Bulb who has any thoughts on this?

If you want a response from Bulb, you’d best contact their customer service channels directly. Hardly anyone from Bulb posts here on the community any more. Of course the problem is that level 1 support wont be able to give you an answer. I think getting any response from Bulb, particularly from anyone with any power to action any changes, is unlikely.

Is there any one at Bulb who has any thoughts on this?

Hi @tomkiss

Would Bulb consider a £0 rate standing charge for members who have removed their gas boilers and have no further need for gas?

I’m afraid not.

The standing charge is a cost that we pay to distributors for any energised meter. So we would have a loss leading tariff if we didn’t pass this cost on to you.

We’d also love to cover the cost of having the meters moved/removed/capped but if we did this, we’d have to increase cost of our tariff for everyone. We made the decision not to do this so we can keep bills as affordable as we can for our members.

But surely it’s ridiculous that we can get free replacement for smart meters, which involved removing the whole meter anyway, but it costs this much just to remove a meter and cap it.

Can it be free to remove gas meter for when the electric meter is being replaced with a smart meter?

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As they said they can’t afford it, but they can afford to give away £100 for referrals sounds logical to me

That’s alright anyway, requested to switch to Octopus who would remove it for free as long as no pipework involved. Which in my case it’s barely any work because the main pipes which feed the rest of the flats is only 1m away from the meter.

That plus cheaper electricity tariffs and added bonus of referral bonus.

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