A gas customer has demanded suppliers take more responsibility for their ‘dangerous’ product after his home’s long-standing leak was dismissed as being within ‘legal tolerances’.

Richard Garretty, of Newsome, is urging suppliers to carry out annual safety checks on gas meters.

Mr Garretty’s meter has been leaking for years – the leak was spotted by a gas engineer – but the leakage has been deemed as within ‘legal tolerances’ and is not considered to be dangerous.

While landlords of rented properties are legally required to carry out gas safety inspections every 12 months, there is no statutory duty for homeowners or gas suppliers.

Mr Garretty, 48, says homeowners could unwittingly be living in potentially lethal environments.

He said: “The engineer told me the meter needs to be moved outside. It is in our garage and has been for the last 10-12 years.

“In this period of time we have had approximately three different gas suppliers, not one of the suppliers has picked up on this so-called problem.

“If they are supplying gas to a domestic property they should be taking the responsibility to check the meter every 12 months.

“Gas companies make billions between them; surely they can afford to send someone to test the meter? It could save some lives.

Richard Garretty of Castle Avenue, Newsome, with problem gas meter in his garage.
 

“The system with landlords is very good. Why can’t gas suppliers have the same policy?

“The big companies need to realise they are supplying a product that can be dangerous and they should have more responsibility for it.”

A spokesperson for SSE, Mr Garretty’s supplier, said: “All energy suppliers are regulated by Ofgem to complete visual safety checks once every two years for gas and electricity meters.

“SSE have committed to reading their customers meters on a six monthly basis, access permitting, and would report any dangerous situations accordingly.

“Regarding the landlord legislation on gas inspections; we believe that a landlord is regulated to complete an annual safety check of the boiler within the property. A gas meter is separate to this and as far as we know it is not included in any legislation. The requirements surrounding gas meters is regulated by Ofgem and are detailed above.

“Should a customer feel that there is a gas leak they may call the Gas Emergencies line on 0800 111999. This number is visible on their meter and statements.”

The Examiner also contacted Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry. The association failed to respond.