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How to Switch LP Gas Supplier
LP Gas has been used as an alternative to mains gas for over 65 years. It is popular in over 150,000 homes across the UK due to its convenience, flexibility and environmental credentials.
You can now switch your LP Gas supplier if you are a domestic:
- Mini Bulk Customer – your home is supplied via a dedicated LP Gas tank.
- Metered Estate Customer– your home is supplied from shared LP Gas tanks.
How to Switch – Domestic Bulk Customer
From the 13th April 2009 all bulk domestic LP Gas customers, that are supplied LP Gas via a bulk tank, can switch their LP Gas supplier along with the ownership of their tank. If you are an existing LP Gas customer you will be advised by your existing supplier when you will become eligible to switch.
When you switch supplier you have the choice of transferring the ownership of the tank from your existing supplier to the new supplier (assuming that your existing supplier legally owns the tank) or you can request a new tank to be installed.
To find the details of all domestic bulk LP Gas suppliers in your area please go to the LP Gas search supplier link which allows you to view all the suppliers in your area, simply by typing in your full post code.
If you decide to switch then you should contact your existing supplier, and/orthe new supplier in writing to request that your existing contract is terminated. Please be aware that a new supplier is not obliged to accept a new customer and they may have a number of reasons why they cannot offer to supply you.
If you have any other questions please click go to the Competition Commission’s Published Frequently Asked Questions.
How to Switch – Metered Estate Customer
Customers who are supplied via a metered estate are also able to request they switch supplier. This comes into effect on the 6th November 2009 and will require the switching of not just the supply but also the ownership of the metered estate infrastructure.
If you have an individual contract with a supplier, all those customers supplied by the metered estate will need to:
- Unanimously agree to switch
- Be eligible to switch (out with their contracts exclusivity period)
If you are a metered estate manager (this is the person that holds the contract with an LP Gas supplier for all the LP Gas that is supplied to the metered estate—often the owner of a holiday park) you can switch as long as you are eligible.
To find the details of all metered estate LP Gas suppliers in your area please go to the LP Gas searchsupplier link. This allows you to view all the suppliers in your area, simply by typing in your full post code. If you decide to switch then you should contact your existing supplier in writing to request that your existing contract is terminated. Please be aware that a new supplier is not obliged to accept a new customer and they may have a number of reasons why they cannot offer to supply you. If you have any other questions please click go to the Competition Commission’s Published Frequently Asked Questions.
Important Advice - OWNING YOUR OWN TANK
In its Final Report on the LP Gas Domestic Bulk Inquiry (29 June 2006) the Competition Commission (CC) confirmed that it had considered a number of remedies including customer ownership of tanks before concluding that tank transfer between suppliers was, in its opinion, the appropriate remedy. The CC accepted arguments from LP Gas suppliers, against customer ownership of tanks and concluded that, whilst it might remedy certain competition law issues the CC had with the tank uplift integrated supply model, customer ownership of tanks was not an appropriate remedy for safety-related reasons. As safety is paramount the UKLPG believes that LP Gas consumers wishing to take on ownership of LP Gas bulk tanks should seriously consider the following serious safety, legal and other issues before deciding to purchase.
Safety – LP Gas bulk tanks are dedicated pressure vessels which are heavily regulated and covered by a variety of legislation. As the owner of the tank a consumer will need to ensure that he/she is fully compliant. The legislative framework includes the:
- Pressure Systems Safety Regulations – As a tank owner the consumer will have to be able to formally demonstrate compliance with a range of legal requirements. Consumers will require the services of a Competent Person to develop their own Written Scheme of Examination which is in a format acceptable to the Health & Safety Executive to ensure that the driver is not put a risk during his deliveries. This Written Scheme of Examination will include for example, such things as routine on-going checks, annual checks of cathodic systems (underground tanks) and periodic statutory examinations. The services of a competent inspection body will need to be contracted to undertake the work on an on-going basis. This will attract additional costs.
- Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations – To confirm compliance with these Regulations consumers will have to ensure that there is appropriate formal Emergency cover for their installation. This is not available via the Emergency Services and has to be provided by the LP Gas supplier. With deliveries likely to be from multiple suppliers it will be difficult to establish which supplier is responsible. In addition, a supplier legal duty is to ‘make safe’ and any rectification work will be at the customers’ expense.
Insurance – Any consumer taking on the ownership of an LP Gas bulk tank will need to inform their insurance company and obtain additional insurance as required.
Gas Supply choice – Whilst a consumer owns their own tank they have no guarantee that they will have any greater choice of supply options. This is because LP Gas suppliers may not be prepared to supply in to a customer-owned tanks for justifiable safety and legal reasons.
Tank transfer in the future – Consumers might decide that they no longer want to own their own tank and want to sell it on to an LP Gas supplier, but find that this is not possible. This is because it is very hard to see how a domestic customer could comply with the certification and documentation requirements which the CC Order imposes on an outgoing LP Gas supplier, and with which such supplier can comply because of the health and safety legislation which applies to all LP Gas suppliers, but cannot apply to a domestic customer.
UKLPG is fully committed to supporting the LP Gas industry in implementing the CC’s Orders and the objective of making switching between bulk LP Gas suppliers easy and hassle-free for the LPG consumer without having to deal with a whole raft of regulations.