Jim the Boil barely surpressed a snigger as I showed him our gas meter. "Well, you'll need one a sight bigger than that'n" he said. Up until now we've run the brewing tuns on electricity - a clean yet enormously expensive heating fuel - but, as we scale up, it becomes far more practical and cost efficient to change over to a boiler delivering high pressure steam to heating coils within the brewing vessels.
A quick call to our gas 'provider': "I'm sorry sir but the meter 'provider' says your meter is registered as 'disconnected'".
A quick call to the meter 'provider': "I'm sorry sir but you'll have to speak to your gas provider".
Gas 'provider': "It's the meter 'provider' who is responsible for updating the database'
Meter 'provider': "Your gas 'provider' registered it as 'disconnected'"
Gas 'provider': "There isn't anything we can do sir, until your meter is registered as 'connected'".
Meter 'provider': "There isn't anything we can do sir, until your meter is registered as 'connected'".
Registering a meter 'connected' that has incorrectly been registered as 'disconnected', a meter that has been providing gas since 1988, a meter that has been read and invoiced since 1988, takes 28 days. Someone, somewhere, in either gas provider company or meter providing company (they continue to blame each other) has slipped up and it will cost my Project 28 days. 28 sodding days waiting for these companies, that have happily taken my coin for four years, to get off their respective arses and tick a f%cking box just so an engineer can come round and confirm that yes, I do indeed need a bigger sodding meter. 28 days and I'm absolutely sodding powerless (pun not intended) to do anything about it. Can I change either gas or meter 'providers' and excercise my consumer power? Not a sodding chance, not until my meter is registered as 'connected'.
Such is the 'efficiency' of privately owned utility companies, the age of communication and of customer satisfaction.
I think I can run the boiler on oil and it'll be tomorrow's job to find out for sure. Tonight's involves a calming Dogbolter.