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Historic Hillsborough Switches On to Fuel of the Future

Historic Hillsborough Switches On to Fuel of the Future image

Phoenix Natural Gas today announced that Hillsborough has become the second town to officially connect to the natural gas network in the companyís highly anticipated project to extend the natural gas pipeline in County Down.

The announcement represents a significant milestone for the company and was marked by a meeting between representatives of Phoenix Natural Gas and the Utility Regulator in Hillsborough.

Following a successful network build, which finished ahead of schedule, the first catchment of properties in Hillsborough are now able to make the switch to natural gas. A total of 2,200 properties are expected to have gas available to them by 2018.

Michael McKinstry, Phoenix Natural Gas Group Chief Executive, said, “In 2015 the Utility Regulator granted Phoenix Natural Gas a licence to extend its natural gas network to an additional 28,000 homes and businesses across 13 new towns in County Down. I am pleased to mark the connection of our second town in the build programme, following the completion of works in Ballygowan where over 1,000 properties have access to the gas network.

“Navigating a successful build programme throughout all stages of the project is a key focus for us and I am delighted that we have achieved this with minimal disruption to local residents and businesses in Hillsborough.

“Phoenix Natural Gas has over 20 years’ experience building the natural gas network locally and in that time has established natural gas as the fuel of choice in the licence area of Greater Belfast, where natural gas is available to 320,000 customers.

“The new project to expand the network is exciting and significant, not only for us, but for the new towns we serve, extending the benefits natural gas brings to the economic, social and environmental prosperity of the area.”

Jenny Pyper, Utility Regulator Chief Executive, welcomed the news, “A key focus of the Utility Regulator’s work is to promote the development of the natural gas industry while protecting the interests of consumers. I am delighted to see Hillsborough connect to the natural gas network, providing more choice to local residents and business owners, who will now have the opportunity to avail of the benefits of natural gas. This connection will also significantly improve the utility infrastructure of the area.

“Phoenix Natural Gas began construction of the East Down network in April 2016 and it’s great to see this project gaining momentum, with two areas now live and work underway to connect Annahilt, Ballynahinch and Spa later this year.

“I look forward to more areas connecting to the natural gas network and would like to thank Phoenix Natural Gas for their commitment to the build programme to date.”

The project represents a £60 million private investment by Phoenix Natural Gas and will see thirteen towns connect to the natural gas network by 2022 including; Annahilt, Ballygowan, Ballynahinch, Castlewellan, Crossgar, Downpatrick, Dromore, Drumaness, Dundrum, Hillsborough, Newcastle, Saintfield and Spa.

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Installing natural gas central heating does eliminate the need for a separate hot water tank, so it is possible to free up some space where the hot press currently exists. However, it is not a requirement of installing natural gas central heating that your hot water tank is removed, so it is entirely your choice.

Homeowners installing a new central heating appliance will be required to make an application to the Builiding Control department of their local council prior to work commencing.

Once you have requested your connection to the natural gas network, it can take up to 15 working days to get a planned connection date. Your natural gas connection is installed over approximately 5 working days, which includes re-instatement on private and public property.  The final stage is the internal installation completed by your installer which (depending on the work involved) can take on average 3 working days.

Currently Phoenix Natural Gas offers a free connection to the natural gas network, worth up to £750.  Work to install your natural gas appliance, e.g. central heating or gas fire is carried out by an independent Gas Safe registered installer.  Details of these installers can be found here.

There would be more energy saving benefits to change everything at once, but we realise that family budgets may prevent this. It is possible to change over in stages, as financial considerations allow.

As with any major home improvement there will be an element of disruption, although both Phoenix Natural Gas and Gas Safe registered installation companies (registered with Phoenix Natural Gas) will aim to keep this to an absolute minimum.

The network operator provides and maintains the natural gas network.  The supplier buys gas which they then sell to consumers via the network operator’s network.  Your supplier is your first point of contact for billing queries and payment card requests.

Phoenix Natural Gas is the gas transporter and network operator.  We do not supply natural gas.  Details of gas suppliers in the greater Belfast area can be found here.

This section is currently under review.

Please call your gas supplier or 03454 55 55 55 for help and advice.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Phoenix Natural Gas is the network operator and not the gas supplier.  Therefore, you will need to speak to your gas supplier.  Details of suppliers can be found here.

On occasion Phoenix Natural Gas will need to carry essential maintenance on the gas meter.  We will endeavour to notify you of this to enable access to your gas appliances after the work is carried out. However, we know that this is not always convenient for consumers. 

If we have been at your property and left a no access card this will give the appropriate number to call to get your gas switched back on.  If you have any questions regarding this please contact our customer services team on 03454 55 55 55.

Natural gas is the fuel of choice for many consumers across Europe with 20 million customers in Great Britain alone. Phoenix Natural Gas continually monitors the system for safety and operates a 24-hour emergency response service, 365 days a year. All gas appliances should be correctly installed by a Gas Safe registered installation company and should be checked annually.

Natural gas is a very convenient, clean and versatile fuel. But like all fuels it must be handled wisely to ensure its safety and efficiency. If you think you smell gas, you should contact the 24-hour gas emergency service on 0800 002 001 or click here for further advice.


No. All installers who are eligible to carry out natural gas work have been registered with Gas Safe Register, which is the national watchdog for gas safety in the UK. Many of these installers will also be registered with Phoenix Natural Gas, which ensures that you can take advantage of our many offers and incentives for new customers switching to natural gas.

A number of installation companies offer a finance facility which allows you to install a new high efficiency natural gas system and spread the cost of installation over a fixed number of months.

For more information on Finance please click here.

For a full list of Phoenix registered installers please click here.