Gas demand research
Learn about research we’re doing into gas demand and how we’re collecting the data. Find guidance for meter workers, gas meter engineers and installers.
What research are we carrying out?
With the help of mainland Britain’s gas consumers, we’re carrying out gas demand research. This involves collecting gas usage data through devices attached to gas meters.
Why are we doing this research?
This research is helping us improve the effectiveness of the gas market across the country by:
- providing annual profiles of gas meter consumption
- helping maintain reliable industry processes
- contributing towards accurate billing
How are we collecting the data?
We’re collecting data using battery-powered recording equipment known as an automated meter reading (AMR) device.
The device is fitted to the gas meter of each customer taking part in the research. Some of these devices are owned by us, some are owned by other gas industry organisations.
An AMR from us will have a sticker attached and will look similar to the image shown. This equipment is the property of Xoserve. It is always:
- a Cello-automated meter reader
- manufactured by Technolog Limited
- installed and maintained by Utilitec Services
Is the data anonymous and secure?
The data we’re collecting:
- is made anonymous and encrypted
- meets data protection laws
- does not record meter readings
The data is transmitted using mobile phone networks to a central data gathering centre. It’s then combined with other anonymous data from the same geographical area. We share the data with Transporters and Shippers through our secure systems.
The AMR does not record meter readings. This means that Suppliers are still required to take meter readings to calculate consumer bills.
Guidance for meter workers
This research relies on the kind help from gas customers in England, Scotland and Wales, and access to their meters.
The AMR unit works by recording pulses emitted by each consumer’s meter, through a connecting cable. The equipment doesn’t affect the operation of the meter and we have permission to connect to it.
If you’re a meter reader, please read the index in the usual way and leave the Xoserve AMR unit connected.
Guidance for gas meter engineers and installers
If you’re a gas meter engineer or gas meter installer you may need to remove or replace the meter attached to an Xoserve AMR unit. Please follow these steps:
- disconnect the AMR communications cable from the meter
- leave the AMR unit and cable in place
- complete your work as necessary
Once you have completed your work, please:
- contact Utilitec Services on free phone 0808 100 2621
- quote the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)
- record the nature of the work carried out and new meter model if necessary
Utilitec Services will then arrange a site visit to reconnect the AMR unit or retrieve it for use at another site.