Frequently asked questions

What towns will benefit from natural gas under the Gas to the West project?
The licence awarded by the Utility Regulator to Mutual Energy & SGN will enable the benefits of natural gas to be brought to the towns of Coalisland, Cookstown, Derrylin, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Magherafelt, Omagh and Strabane.

Are there plans for other towns/villages to get gas at a later stage?
When the initial eight towns (see above) have been connected, the focus will then be on extending the low pressure (distribution) network within each town and examining the economies of further extensions to smaller communities/settlements that lie close to suitable connection points.

When is gas due to be available to homes and businesses?
Gas is expected to be available in the Strabane area from late 2016 onwards. Timelines for gas going to the other towns will be dependent upon when planning permission is granted and work can start. Within each of the towns, we are currently developing more detailed design to include the phasing of the work required to bring gas to specific areas. For updates on when your individual business is expected to be connected, stay in touch with your SGN Natural Gas customer representative.

How do I get a gas connection/supply?
Once gas is available in an area, SGN Natural Gas (who will provide the gas connection, similar to the way NIE Networks does for electricity) will be advertising widely and people will be able to contact a gas supplier operating in their area to discuss their needs.

How much will a gas connection cost?
SGN Natural Gas is currently working on a Connections Pricing Policy that will be published once approved by the Utility Regulator.
If you provide us with your contact details (Tel: 0800 975 2322 or email info@gastothewest.com), we will contact you when this Connections Pricing Policy is available.

How much will it cost to convert from oil fired central heating to gas?
This will depend on a number of factors, including size and type of premises, type of boiler chosen etc. so will be best discussed with your local installer for a customised quotation.

Who can I contact to install gas appliances in my property?
A list of accredited installers in your local area is available from Gas Safe Register

Will it be possible to have a pay as you go meter and will this mean gas costs more per unit?
This will be an issue to discuss with your chosen gas supplier, once gas is available in your area

Will there be ‘promotional offers’ encouraging people and businesses to convert to gas?
It is expected that gas suppliers will have a range of packages and offers available however this is beyond the control of Mutual Energy and SGN as project developers and would be determined as part of the overall marketing strategy by individual suppliers. Government sponsored schemes which aim to improve energy efficiency may be available to support conversion to natural gas (e.g. the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme) but this will depend on government policy at the time.

What are the benefits of natural gas for homes and businesses?
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel with the least environmental impact – a switch from oil can lower carbon emissions by more than 20 per cent. With continuity of supply, the worry of running out and being left without heat is no longer an issue. Natural gas is versatile in its application, you can even replace your electric tumble dryer for a gas fired version that will delivery savings on the running cost. It is convenient and controllable and as well as all of the above it also offers the opportunity to save you money versus your existing fuels. In many cases, access to natural gas can be a pre-requisite for other industrial investment.

How much disruption will the project cause?
Gas to the West is a major infrastructure project and, unfortunately, some disruption is inevitable with a project of this scale. The project team and its contractors will be doing everything possible to minimise the impact the project will have on people’s daily lives during the construction phase, and will be working closely with Transport NI, other utility companies and other agencies to co-ordinate our works.
In line with best practice, we will ensure we give as much warning of future works as possible to any residents, businesses and road users / commuters.

Will local companies be able to benefit from construction and other contracts?
Mutual Energy and SGN recognise that we have a significant role to play in contributing to the economic well-being and sustainable development of the communities we operate within. We are therefore committed to demonstrating exemplary levels of engagement with local suppliers. We want to be the best in Northern Ireland at engaging with local businesses and SME communities.
All supplier and tender opportunities will be advertised on the Gas to the West supplier page on our website and, where appropriate, advertised in the local press. This site will facilitate trade and engagement between SGN and local suppliers and service providers. It will provide a platform for us to promote opportunities originating in the region, and will give local suppliers the chance to get involved in this major project.
We recommend interested companies visit the supplier website to register their interest and receive updates about opportunities available.

How many jobs will the project support during construction and on completion?
The investment associated with Gas to the West is expected to support around 200 jobs during the construction phase. Thereafter the new gas infrastructure will sustain a significant number of ongoing jobs for installation sub-contractors and other related functions.

How can you ensure local people benefit from these job opportunities?
Our contractors and subcontractors will be required to ensure all job opportunities are advertised in the local area and are open to local people, subject to having the necessary qualifications and experience.

What is the compensation package for people whose land is affected?
Mutual Energy and SGN, together with farming representatives have agreed a scheme of compensation for those who will be affected by the project. This has been based on our experiences working in other parts of the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in Northern Ireland. All aspects of the access to the land, including protection, compensation and reinstatement requirements, will be discussed with all affected parties on an individual basis and anyone affected will have a dedicated landowner liaison officer with whom they can discuss any issues relevant to them. Landowners are welcome to engage their own land agents to assist them in agreeing their compensation package

News

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PRESS RELEASE: Appointment of main works contractor signals start of Gas to the West build
16th October 2017

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8th edition of Gas to the West newsletter published
3rd October 2017

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Gas to the West Stakeholders’ Meeting Dungannon - video
20th June 2017

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Gas to the West - Next Steps
15th June 2017

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Presentation at the Gas to the West Construction Phase launch, 14 June 2017
15th June 2017

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7th edition of Gas to the West newsletter published
14th June 2017

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6th edition of Gas to the West newsletter published
16th February 2017

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‘Gas to the West’ project reaches first major milestone
6th February 2017

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5th edition of Gas to the West newsletter published
25th October 2016

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PRESS RELEASE: Gas to the West project reaches important milestone
21st October 2016

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4th edition of Gas to the West newsletter published
6th June 2016

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3rd edition of Gas to the West project newsletter published
24th March 2016

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Dates announced for 2nd phase of Pre Application Community Consultation (PACC)
7th March 2016

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2nd edition of GTTW newsletter published
23rd December 2015

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Delivery Underway in Strabane
12th November 2015

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1st edition of GTTW newsletter published
19th October 2015

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VIDEO - Public information event underway in Enniskillen – come along and meet the team!
8th October 2015

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Dates announced for public information events
24th September 2015

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Minister formally ‘launches’ GTTW at public event in Enniskillen
4th March 2015

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Utility Regulator publishes GTTW final decision paper and licences
11th February 2015

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Utility Regulator decides on preferred applicant for GTTW
18th December 2014

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MEL and SGN announced as preferred applicants in GTTW competition
12th August 2014

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High pressure operational business plan published
12th August 2014

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Low pressure operational business plan published
12th August 2014

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Gas to the West licence application process launched
6th February 2014