National Grid to push forward with plans for emergency gas number

National Grid is set to push forward with its proposals to include the emergency gas number in the sale of its gas distribution business following feedback from industry.

The company said it has received a “mixed response” from industry on its plans, but said transferring the service to the distribution company “presents the lowest risk option”.

It added that if the service was to stay with National Grid it would require either the creation of a new call centre, or a contractual arrangement with the new gas distribution company to provide the service.

National Grid said: “We are discussing with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the most appropriate way to ensure that the obligation continues to align with the delivery of the service.”

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said the opportunity should be taken to create a new independent body to manage the service, but National Grid said this is not within the scope of the proposed sale.

National Grid said: “The solutions that we are discussing with the HSE include creating the flexibility for future changes in the duty holder.

“This would facilitate the duty holder being either a category of persons or perhaps more widely, any suitable person possessing appropriate skills, resources and expertise, that might wish to be a provider of this service.

It added that it understands that the HSE, in consultation with Ofgem and the Department for Energy and Climate Change is considering whether there is a case to review the gas safety management regulations.

The Gas Industry Safety Group has already backed National Grid’s plans to include the gas safety number in the sale of its gas distribution businesses, saying the sale will not materially affect the running of the number which has proven effective.

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BDC 309 : Oct 2023