Disconnecting from gas: what’s involved

gas bill

Just how do you disconnect from the gas network, and what will it cost? Consultant Kate Leslie investigates.

CONGRATULATIONS, your last gas appliance has been replaced and you are ready to disconnect. How to go about it and what should it cost?

Like all good answers, the answer to this one is “it depends”. It depends mostly on the state you live in and the distributor, a little on your retailer—and there could be an ‘X factor’ of how you approach it.

Generally, retailers are set up to compete for your switching business. Distributors are set up to connect new customers. The experience of dealing with a customer who wishes to disconnect, while not unheard of, is uncommon.

Many people who have disconnected from the gas grid simply organised with their retailer to close their account. The retailer expects you are moving house (and the next occupant will reconnect) or, in states with retail competition for energy, they might think you are taking your business elsewhere. The retailer will notify the distributor and the special meter reading for the final bill and disconnection of supply may or may not be a line item on the bill. Retailers vary.

Alternatively to disconnect, you might contact the distributor that owns the pipes and meters. They also have a set of in-built expectations. You might be demolishing your house (to rebuild it). Or, in infill developments, it is usual to remove the meter of a single dwelling, with the distributor coming back in a number of months or years to install multiple meters for the townhouses or apartments that now stand on the block. Or perhaps for some reason the property will be vacant for a while.

Distributors have options for disconnecting supply, other than physical removal of the meter. Some distributors use plugs and locks (usually where a customer is not paying their gas bill). One distributor in WA removes the pressure regulator. Some distributors say they will ask for enough information from the customer so they can determine the appropriate disconnection method.

Read the full article in ReNew 140.