RESIDENTS in a Corbally housing estate are calling on Bord Gáis to remove gas meter boxes that have been on their front lawns for over 20 years.
Householders in Abbeylock say that the boxes are causing an obstruction and could cause accidents. They now want the gas suppliers to remove the meters and put them on the walls of their houses because of concerns for children playing on and around the meters.
They’ve been told by Bord Gáis that it will cost €1,000 per house to have the boxes moved.
Limerick Fianna Fail TD, Willie O’Dea has made representations to Bord Gáis on the residents’ behalf but to little avail and says he will raise the matter with the Minister for Energy and Communications if a more positive response is not forthcoming.
“This is a disgraceful situation where childrens’ lives are being put at risk by Bord Gáis who should never have placed the meters in the front gardens in the first place. Now, to add insult to injury, they are asking residents to cough up €1,000 to resolve a safety issue caused by Bord Gáis,” he added.
Bord Gáis Networks say they are satisfied that the gas meters are not a safety risk.
“The meters were installed in 1993 and their location fully complied with the relevant safety standards prevailing at that time, one part of which specifically precluded their installation on house walls. As a result, the meters are not deemed to be a safety risk and therefore the costs associated with a meter relocation in Abbeylock must be borne by the customer requesting it,” said a Bord Gáis spokesman.
He also said that no customer had been asked to pay €1,000 to have the gas meter boxes moved.
“We are regulated by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the charges for services we provide are approved and published on the CER website www.cer.ie. We received an inquiry from one customer in Abbeylock to move the gas meter. We provided quotations of €483.54 and €767.36 to the customer – depending on whether the trench required is excavated by the customer or ourselves. By law, customers must engage a registered gas installer to reconnect the gas meter to their internal pipework following a meter relocation,” he said.