You are thinking about connecting to our gas distribution network, or already have. This document sets out terms and conditions that apply to that connection. To make it as easy to read and clear as possible, we have used some abbreviations; these are shown in bold and their full meaning is given at the end, in the Definitions section.

If you decide to accept our offer, these terms and conditions will govern our relationship with you. It’s important you read and understand everything from the beginning. If you’re unsure about anything, send us an email at connections@firstgas.co.nz anytime, or give us a call on 0800 NEW GAS (0800 639 427).

To be clear, our relationship relates only to your connection to our network – from your meter to our gas main. Our relationship doesn’t extend to meter readings or to the supply of gas itself. For any questions about these matters, please contact your retailer. You might also want to visit the powerswitch website to find the best pricing plan for your needs.

  1. Free connections
    You may qualify for a free connection, if:
    – you are installing or switching to a hot water or central heating system that’s powered by natural gas
    – your house (or likely meter box location) is within 20 metres of our gas main in your street; and
    – access from the street to your house isn’t too complicated.
    These are the free connection criteria. Because the second two apply, the cost of connecting you to our network
    is relatively low. Because the first applies, you are someone with other investments on your plate, and we want to
    give you a leg up.

    A free connection is a great introduction to the wonderful world of gas. We need to point out, however, that, even if
    the free connection criteria are met when you submit your online enquiry form, or first spoke to our new connection
    call centre, there are certain situations under which you may still need to pay us a connection charge.

    Please note, you still need to discuss appliance and gas fitting costs- talk to your gas fitter to find out more.

  2. You may still need to pay a connection charge if:
    There are two reasons why you may need to pay a connection charge. These correspond to the three free connection criteria.
    1. Connecting you for free implies a capital investment on our part – an investment for which we expect to receive a fair return. For that to happen, the assumptions on which we base our offers have to hold. The free connection offer is based on the assumption that a newly connected customer will continue to use their new gas-fired hot water or central heating appliance(s) for at least a year. (We expect you’ll love gas and will go on using it/them for much longer!) If that doesn’t happen, we won’t recover the costs we incurred in connecting you to our network. Therefore, your free connection is conditional on you still having installed, on the date 12 months after your connection is turned on, the appliance(s) listed in during your new connection enquiry (They need not be exactly the same
      appliances; similar ones will suffice.). We verify this by checking the gas certificates for your appliance(s). Usually we will search the public register of gas certificates operated by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board; however, we may also ask you to (and you agree to) provide us with the certificate(s) directly.
    2. If – for whatever reason – your metering box needs to be located more than 20 metres from our gas main, and you still want to be connected, you will need to cover the costs of the extra pipe (and any extra work involved to install it).

    If we believe that a connection charge becomes payable because one of the above reasons applies, we will contact you to discuss the matter. Don’t worry Рin the case of the second reason, we won’t invoice you for any work that you haven’t agreed to in advance. (However, please note that cancellation charges can apply Рsee section 14 below.)

  3. If I have to pay a connection charge, how much will it be?
    This will depend on the circumstances. If your connection is over 20m from meter to main, we will ask you to contribute the cost of the additional pipe (the first 20m is on us). If you disconnect your hot water or central heating system (or never install it in the first place), we will ask you to pay the costs of the connection in full.
  4. Getting started
    To get the ball rolling on your connection, please sign and date letter, and return it to us by email at
    connections@firstgas.co.nz.

    Once we have received your countersigned letter, a contract is in place, and we will start planning your connection works. There are a number of things that could impact how long this takes, for example contractor availability and the number of new connections we’re handling at the time. We also need to organise statutory approvals and other licences, consents and permits; because these are issued by councils and road authorities, and they are mandatory, we cannot provide firm guarantees about timing. Nevertheless, the sooner you get connected, the better it is for all involved Рso rest assured we will endeavour to keep timeframes to a minimum.

  5. Meter location
    During your enquiry into a new connection you nominated your preferred meter location. As long as this is:
    – on your property boundary;
    – along the front of your house; or
    – not more than three metres back from the front left or front right of your house,
    we should be able to lay our pipes to this point. However, we may need to vary the location to maintain clearances of one metre from any opening vent, window, door, or any permanently connected electrical appliance, switchboard
    or metering board, or any permanently connected gas appliance or flue.
  6. What work will we do, in order to connect you?
    We will lay, or insert a gas pipe to the point where the meter (is or) will be located. We will supply, install, test and commission all pipes and associated fittings. We will also liaise with your retailer, which will be responsible for installing your meter. Anything downstream of your meter (between the meter and your house) needs to be installed and certified by a registered gasfitter. You can find gas fitters in your area here.
  7. Access
    It may sound obvious, but you will need to provide us safe access to the property – both to install the connection and to inspect and maintain it on an ongoing basis. Whatever the case, we will liaise with you about suitable times and do our best to fit around your needs. Our connection teams operate during business hours.
    If your connection needs to cross property owned by another person (such as a right of way), or that you co-own with another person (such as a cross-leased section), you will need to get each owner’s consent and show us that consent before we can start work. For your convenience we have prepared a standard consent form, which can be obtained by contacting us on 0800 NEW GAS (0800 639 427) or by email at connections@firstgas.co.nz. Where your connection needs to cross property owned by another person, you will also need to provide us with a copy of the easement allowing you to lay pipes and convey gas across their property, before we can start work. If we ask to see site plans, you will need to provide these too.
  8. Our guarantees to you about how we will carry out the site works
    No one likes mess. We promise to leave things as we found them, as far as is reasonably possible.

    As a responsible employer and service provider, safety is hugely important to us. Rest assured we will comply with all relevant laws and regulations, as well as our own code of conduct. We will also endeavour to accommodate any specific health and safety requirements that you would like us to comply with.

    We will follow good industry practice in the course of our work. We will also ensure that all materials, machinery and plant that we use comply with statutory or industry safety standards.
    If we are responsible for any errors, defects or omissions we will make them good at our own cost. If you have any concerns please call us on 0800 NEW GAS (0800 639 427)

  9. If you do need to pay us a charge:
    If a connection charge or a cancellation charge is payable, we will send you an invoice. You will pay the amount due by the specified due date, by direct credit to our nominated bank account.

    If you don’t pay the amount due by the specified due date, we may charge you default interest at a rate of 5% above the 90 bank bill rate, calculated on a monthly basis.

  10. Ownership
    We own all the equipment associated with your connection, upstream of the meter.
  11. Insurance
    From the date we receive your countersigned letter until the date the connection works are completed, you will be covered by our public liability insurance. This provides cover up to $1 million.
  12. Privacy
    We will hold all information you provide to us, and make it available to you, as required by the Privacy Act 1993.
  13. Cancellation charge
    If you cancel your connection after we have received your countersigned letter, you will need to pay a cancellation charge. If we haven‚Äôt started work on site, the charge will be $200. This allows us to recover some of the costs we incur in processing your application up to that point. If we have started work, the charge will be equal to the costs we have incurred up to that point. This is pure cost recovery – there’s no penalty component – but you should be aware that, depending on the circumstances, the charge could be substantially more than $200.
    Cancellation charges only apply if you cancel after countersigning the letter and returning it to us – if you choose not to proceed beforehand, that’s fine – though we hope you’ll later reconsider.
  14. Your side of the bargain
    We take certain things for granted, but it’s good to spell these out to make sure were on the same page.
    – to the best of your knowledge, the information you’re provided us (for example, in your online enquiry form) is true and accurate, and not misleading in any material way;
    – you have legal capacity to enter into a contractual relationship with us, and to meet your side of the bargain under that relationship; and
    – you have a sufficient interest in the property to allow us to carry out the connection works.

    These seem like fair assumptions to us, but if you’re in any doubt about whether they apply, please call us on 0800 NEW GAS (0800 639 427) to discuss, before returning your countersigned letter.

Definitions

  • business hours means 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, other than statutory public holidays in your province.
  • connection works means the capital works we or our subcontractors will undertake in order to connect you to our
    gas distribution network.
  • free connection criteria means the three criteria described in section 1
  • good industry practice means the exercise of that degree of skill, diligence, prudence and foresight that would reasonably and ordinarily be expected from a skilled and experienced operator engaged in New Zealand in the same type of undertaking under the same or similar circumstances.
  • invoice means an invoice that complies with the tax invoice requirements of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985.
    letter means the letter from us to you to which these terms and conditions are attached.
  • property means the property specified in your online enquiry form.
    we means First Gas Limited and its contractors, and our has the corresponding meaning.

You means you, our valued customer!