Russia is about to embark on a mass installation of anti-magnetic seals on natural gas meters to detect whether consumers are stealing gas or not. Consumers will be able to opt out of installing gas meters and seals but in that case they will have to pay a higher rate for the gas. However, consumers do have the right to demand that high quality natural gas is supplied to them. Analytical Center expert Victoria Gimadi commented on the situation to a Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent.
When debating the quality of natural gas with the supplier, the consumer can rely upon standard requirements
That's according to the amendments that the Ministry of Energy plans to make to some government resolutions. The idea is that this will make it easier to identify thieves, reduce the losses incurred by gas suppliers, improve payment discipline, and expedite the gasification process in the regions.
The Ministry of Energy's project calls not only for the installation of anti-magnetic seals but also the obligation of the gas supplier to notify consumers of upcoming gas meter checks and of any debt for supplied gas, as well as fines or penalties they owe. In their turn, consumers will be able to demand verification of the quality of service from the supplier. "Requirements for the quality of natural gas and the quality of gas transportation services have already been defined in Russia," Victoria Gimadi says, "Thus, in the event of a dispute with the supplier over the quality of gas, there are specific approved requirements that consumers can cite."
Given the fact that consumers and suppliers already enter into gas supply contracts with each other, consumers already can demand verification of the quality of service. If the quality of the natural gas supplied fails to meet the standard requirements, consumers may try and negotiate some kind of a settlement with the supplier. If negotiations fail, legal action is the last resort, Victoria Gimadi concludes.
Source: The Rossiyskaya Gazeta