What’s in this guide?
As long as there is a gas to heat our homes, we tend not to overthink about how it gets there. But there is a vast underground network of gas piping in the UK that brings offshore gas all the way to your home.
Most of this pipe network is owned and managed by National Grid Gas.
However, some areas are not covered by the central grid, and smaller Independent Gas Transporters (IGTs) step in to support customers in these areas.
In effect, all of the gas transporter companies offer equivalent services, so it doesn’t make much difference whether IGT delivers your gas or straight from the grid. But it can make a difference to the price you pay for gas.
Read on to understand how IGTs impact your gas bill.
What is an IGT?
Independent Gas Transporters (IGTs) build and look after local gas transportation networks, which brings gas to your home.
The UK’s eight IGTs:
- Independent pipelines
- Murphy Gas Networks Limited
- ES Pipelines
- Indigo Pipelines Limited
- GTC Pipelines
- Energy Assets Pipelines Limited
- Fulcrum Pipelines
An IGT manages the operational side of delivering gas to your home, independent of the supplier that you buy gas from.
Does an IGT supply me?
According to reports, approximately 1 million homes in Britain are not on the national grid and are supplied gas by IGTs.
In the 1960-1970s most of the National Grid was built, and it didn’t cover all the areas where people now live. Many rural villages were left off the grid as they once used other heating sources.
Additionally, new developments require new gas pipelines if they are away from the current grid infrastructure.
Independent companies moved in to fill the gap and have built infrastructure to supply these communities.
IGTs bring some smart technology to introduce gas piping without too much disruption to existing villages.
Many new developments will use IGTs as they offer cheaper upfront installation costs, in exchange for slightly higher usage costs to you, the end customer.
How do you know if your gas is coming through an IGT?
Your meter number is the best way to identify if you are using an IGT. This number (sometimes called an M number or MPRN) will be on your gas bill. If your number starts with the number 74, 75, 76 or 77, then your gas is coming through an IGT.
How much extra will an IGT cost you?
A couple of low-cost suppliers won’t supply to you if you use an IGT, which is a pain if you are shopping for a better deal. On the bright side, almost all other suppliers will absorb the extra charges from the IGT, and you won’t pay any more for your gas.
Just a couple of suppliers pass on the fee to you, and then it will only be on some of their contracts.
If you buy from a supplier that does charge an additional fee, at least you know they have given it a cap. Ofgem caps the price that an IGT can charge using ‘Relative Price Control’.
This method means that the price you pay for an IGT is roughly equivalent to what your charge if your gas was from the national grid.
The cost ends up being higher as your gas supplier has to pay two transportation companies, rather than one.
You can still use our quote comparison tool to find a better gas price if you use an IGT.
Once you have seen a deal, you like then ask the supplier about any IGT fees before you commit.