Under the requirements of the Gas Act 1986 (as amended 1995) the owner/ occupier of premises has the right to provide and lay their own gas supply, to have that gas supply connected to National Grid's network and, if fit for purpose, to offer ownership of the pipe(s) to a Gas Transporter (GT) such as National Grid. National Grid fully supports this requirement and allows companies to register with National Grid as a Utility Infrastructure Provider (UIP) to undertake these activities for owners / occupiers of premises. Third Party organisations wishing to lay gas infrastructure and offer ownership to National Grid must register with National Grid as a UIP. To do this, please complete the registration form available on the form section of our website here.UIPs design and construct gas (and other) infrastructure, on behalf of their customer, for National Grid and other IGTs to adopt for the remainder of its lifetime. The UIP market consists of approximately 80 design and/or construction organisations, some with the capability to design and complete the physical connection or design and undertake service pipe alterations and/or service pipe disconnections. Information on some of the UIP organisations that offer the above services can be obtained from various industry bodies such as; • The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) • Energy and Utility Alliance (EUA) • Lloyds Register (GIRS accredited organisations) Please note OFGEM, the EUA and Lloydsregister do not provide quotations themselves but may hold up-to-date contact information of those UIP's which do.
Prior to the adoption of any assets it is essential that National Grid seek appropriate evidence from the UIP that the proposed pipe or system has been designed and constructed in accordance with recognised industry standards and is fit for purpose. This is achieved by a thorough validation of the UIP undertaking the works, prior to work commencing, to ensure compliance with the requirements of the ‘Adoption of pipe systems by a GT – management of UIP activities’ (IGE/TD/101). National Grid will also undertake a technical audit of work in progress to verify the quality of installation, workmanship and pipework. It is important to note that National Grid is able to simplify the above job specific validation of UIPs registered under the Gas Industry Registration Scheme (GIRS). It is essential that anyone wishing to undertake UIP works meet the following key requirements; • Provide advance notification to National Grid of the proposed pipe or system • Demonstrate competency of the designer of the pipe or system • Persons constructing the pipe or system must be qualified to install gas distribution systems and possess recent, relevant experience - Gas Safe registered persons are not normally included in this category unless they possess additional qualification in this area. • Obtain planning permission and authority to proceed from the Planning Authority, prior to commencement of works. • Where excavation is required in the public highway or street, the UIP must obtain a Section 50 license under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (Section 109 in Scotland). • Enter into, and comply with obligations and conditions of, contractual terms with National Grid for the connection of the pipe or system. National Grid will only connect, or allow to be connected new pipes or systems that are fit for purpose and satisfy technical and contractual requirements. To achieve this UIPs must follow National Grid’s published adoption and connection procedures.
In consultation with the industry National Grid has developed an adoption framework to progress applications from UIP organisations and assess the fitness for purpose and compatibility of their pipes operating at up to 7 barg before connecting to the National Grid Network (either by themselves or National Grid). The adoption framework does allow the customer/consumer to undertake the works themselves provided they are able to demonstrate that they have the necessary capabilities and comply with all the necessary technical and legislative requirements, as detailed above. Anyone wishing to pursue this route must register with National Grid as a UIP by completing the Registration Form. Third Party organisations wishing to lay gas infrastructure and offer ownership to National Grid must register with National Grid as a UIP. To do this, please complete the registration form available on the form section of our website here.
The adoption framework has been supplemented by the introduction of an independent Registration Body that provides certification of UIPs under the Gas Industry Registration Scheme (GIRS), to operate within specified work activities across the industry. Registered UIPs also benefit from simplified GT interfaces for the adoption of gas infrastructure, consistency in validation across the industry and a strong marketing brand including a national register of UIPs available to consumers. The scheme is recognised by National Grid and other Gas Transporters and provides assurance that works undertake by a registered UIP will be completed to the requirements of the adopting Gas Transporter. As a result, registered UIPs benefit from a simplified interface with National Grid, which may result in the UIP delivering their customers requirements in a shorter timescale than non GIRS registered UIPs. National Grid fully supports GIRS and would encourage membership for any organisation wishing to operate as a UIP. The foundation of GIRS is laid out in the technical publication ‘Adoption of pipe systems by an IGT - management of UIP activities’ (IGE/TD/101). For further information on the scheme and details of accredited UIPs please refer to the Lloyds Register website.