Easy assist Emergency control valve (ECV)



The ECV is a safety mechanism on a gas service pipe connecting a gas meter to the gas service and every gas meter will have one. The purpose is to control the flow of gas where it should be switched off in the event of an emergency such as a gas escape, thereby the gas escape becomes safe & controlled.


There are approximately 7 million customers in vulnerable situations in the UK on the Priority Services Register (PSR). This is a free service, supported by Ofgem, provided by suppliers and network operators to customers who are registered as being in a vulnerable situation. Approximately 2 million people are restricted physically which could limit their ability to manually operate the existing ECV mechanism.


The network is seeking an innovative solution that will allow these customers the ability to operate & switch off the gas supply, and so increasing their safety until a gas engineer is in attendance.


DISCLAIMER: This is not a tendering exercise and as such does not guarantee either a project or product sales.  This is a market research exercise on behalf of the EIC’s distribution network operator partners seeking potential solutions/alternative products in which the networks may see benefit over existing methods.


The Need/Challenge


All gas distribution networks aim to attend all uncontrolled escapes within one hour and all controlled escapes within two hours. In a controlled gas escape, the person reporting it has confirmed that the gas emergency control valve for the premises has been turned off and the smell of gas has gone.


Currently, not all customers are able control the gas escape as they are unable to operate the existing ECV mechanisms, which require a 90 degree turn of the handle that is in place on domestic gas meters.


The Output/Goal


It is envisaged that the solution will allow customers in vulnerable situations, with restricted physical capability, the ability to switch off the gas supply in the event of a gas escape. The successful solution would be trialled in a controlled area, with the potential for roll out to relevant customers registered on the PSR.


Read full details of this innovation call here.


Process for Registering Interest


The network operators are open to ideas and approaches to solve this challenge.  Potential solutions can range from one single idea to several innovations that complement each other.


To register initial interest and request an expression of interest form please call the Energy Innovation Centre on 0151 348 8040  or alternatively enter your details online and quote the reference number Call GDN-18—08.


Please note, specific EOI forms are created for each individual Call for Innovation and the matching form will be required to progress any submissions.


The closure date for registering initial interest is 16.11.2018 .  Please note office open hours are between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.