Gas meter accuracy
Gas meters are required to register the volume of gas consumed within an acceptable degree of accuracy. Any significant error in the registered volume can represent a loss to the gas supplier, or the consumer being overbilled. The accuracy is generally laid down in statute for the location in which the meter is installed. Statutory provisions should also specify a procedure to be followed should the accuracy be disputed.
In the UK, the permitted error for a gas meter manufactured prior to the European Measuring Instruments Directive is ±2%.However, the European Measuring Instrument Directive has harmonised gas meter errors across Europe and consequently meters manufactured since the directive came into force must read within ±3%. Meters whose accuracy is disputed by the customer have to be removed for testing by an approved meter examiner. If the meter is found to be reading outside of the prescribed limits, the supplier has to refund the consumer for gas incorrectly measured while that consumer had that meter (but not vice versa). If the meter cannot be tested or its reading is unreliable, the consumer and supplier have to negotiate a settlement. If the meter is found to be reading within limits, the consumer has to pay the costs of testing (and pay any outstanding charges). This contrasts with the position on electric meters, where the test is free and a refund is only given if the date of the meter started reading inaccurately can be determined.