Energy: tips 10 August 2021 • 8 minutes
Perhaps you are moving into a new house soon and you want to connect to the natural gas network. This is an interesting initiative because this fuel, which is also called mains gas, presents several advantages. Cheaper than electricity and less polluting than other fossil fuels, it offers consumers a range of possibilities as it can be used for heating, hot water, and cooking. However, to take advantage of it, your house must be connected to the gas distribution network. Are you ready to take the necessary steps?
Connecting to mains gas is an essential step for anyone wanting to benefit from this type of energy. Without a connection you won’t have any gas, even the aim is to supply a gas cooker.
In practice, a gas connection involves connecting your home, and more specifically your gas meter, to the gas distribution network managed by your network operator (or DNO). These include ORES, RESA, Sibelga, and Fluvius. To do this, you need to arrange for a gas supply from the public road to your house via a conduit (pipe).
If you are building your own home, find out about the services included as part of the works. Depending on the situation, the connection operation may be included. If that is not the case, you must submit a request to your DNO.
Please note that your residential area may not be covered by your DNO’s network. If you encounter this situation, remember to check on any extension works planned in their schedule. If no works are planned, your DNO may still decide to change the game by assessing the profitability of making such an investment.
Connecting your gas meter to the distribution network couldn’t be easier! Simply follow the four steps below.
If you want to have access to natural gas, you need to contact your DNO. First of all, check whether your house can be connected to the gas network. To do this, ask your DNO directly or do an online search. ORES, for example, offers a connectivity test that gives you an instant response based on your postal address. If the response is positive, you can submit your connection request by completing an online form. Whether you use this online form or a paper version, you will be asked to provide certain pieces of information, such as the date of the desired works and the type of construction (new home or existing home).
In addition, your DNO will ask you for a number of documents that are essential for the work to proceed. In the case of a gas connection for a new home, consider attaching the land registry plan, the site plan, and the plan indicating the desired location of the gas meter. For an existing home, you will be required to take a photo of its front and side.
To determine the type of connection to be made and the type of meter to be installed, your DNO will also need to know the total power consumption of your gas-powered appliances. If you don’t have this information, don’t worry. Simply ask your installer (in other words, your heating engineer). For information, an average home generally requires a maximum gas flow of 6 m³/hr. This will cover your heating, hot water, and cooking requirements.
Did you know? Your gas meter cannot be installed anywhere you like. You need to take into account the requirements laid down by your DNO. They usually require a dry, well-lit location with easy access and constant ventilation.
Once your connection request has been processed, your DNO will send a technician to your home. They will be responsible for giving you all the necessary information, and the ball is then in your court: it’s up to you to decide whether or not to accept the price offer which your DNO will then send you.
If you agree, the planning for the gas connection can begin. Your task will be to carry out the preparatory works required by your DNO based on the report provided by the technician. You will be able to find this information in the documents accompanying the price offer. After that, your DNO will connect and install the meter on the agreed date. This work takes half a day on average.
Note: your DNO may require payment of the quotation before arranging the connection. In terms of time frame, this must be carried out within 30 days, or, in the case of roadworks or extending the network, within 60 days. However, connecting your appliance to the gas supply can be scheduled for a later date if you wish.
That’s it, your house is connected to the gas network and your gas meter is installed. This means your DNO has given you a new EAN code. The next step involves taking out an energy contract with an energy supplier. To do this, we recommend that you compare the natural gas deals available in Belgium. This overview will help you find out which is the best for your situation. This may, for example, be the cheapest gas deal or the one offered by a supplier that guarantees high-quality customer service. It all depends on your criteria.
Whatever the situation, remember to read your gas meter regularly once your installation is up and running so that your future annual bill won’t be a nasty surprise. You will then be able to calculate your gas consumption and so revise the estimate provided by you or your supplier at the start of your contract. This step is particularly important since it will allow you to adjust your regular payments.
You have requested a supply contract. Now it’s time to make an appointment with your network operator for your gas installation to be commissioned. You will not be able to consume any gas until this step has been carried out.
However, your meter will only be opened if you are also able to provide a certificate of compliance for your internal installation. This certificate, which guarantees compliance with the standards in force for gas installations, is drawn up by your supplier. If they are not Cerga-certified, you must also have your natural gas installation approved by a body accredited by the federal authorities. To find out more, please see the list of Cerga installers.
Have all the conditions been met? Great! Your DNO simply has to perform a tightness test before completing the commissioning process.
Did you know? If your central heating runs on natural gas, you are legally obliged to have your gas boiler serviced once every three years in Wallonia and Brussels. However, in Flanders, the maintenance must take place every two years. In addition, please use a specialist to find out how to connect your gas boiler. Your safety is at stake.
The price of a gas connection is fixed by your DNO and varies depending on the type of work involved. Given the numerous technical considerations linked, in particular, to flow and pressure, it may be that you need a simple, standard connection (which is free under certain conditions) or a non-standard one. Only a qualified installer will be able to tell you what type of gas connection needs to be installed.
In addition, if the connection to your meter requires an extension of the distribution network, the bill will inevitably go up, unless this extension is useful to other homes.
In conclusion, to find out the cost of connecting to the gas network, request a quotation from your DNO!