For example, let’s say the homeowner thought they smelt a gas leak inside the home, so the homeowner shuts off the gas at the meter. Would the gas company have a way to know that the gas was shut off at the meter and possibly send someone to inspect?

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    If they are using remote-reading meters, or if they send someone around to read the meter, they will see that there has been no gas used. But I don't see any reason for them to assume that this means anything more than that you haven't been using gas. – keshlam Aug 21 '16 at 3:26
  • @keshlam - Right, especially since it's a newly purchased home. The reality is, no gas is being used. The owner shut off gas water heater just after they took possession of the home (in preparation for some maintenance to water heater). – user56530 Aug 21 '16 at 3:29
  • But shutting off the water heater hardly prevents any gas from being used: heating, cooking, etc. – wallyk Aug 21 '16 at 3:32
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    Not all houses use gas for those purposes. Not all houses are continuously occupied, for that matter. Zero use means only zero use. – keshlam Aug 21 '16 at 3:38
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    No, even with an ERTed meter, it looks just the same as no appliance on, hardly a "red alert" situation. – wallyk Aug 21 '16 at 4:16

Most new appliances do not have pilot lights so if they are not being used there is no gas usage. Shutting the main off even during the time the meter is being read won't trigger an inspection. In Earthquake prone areas some home owners have a wrench attached to the pipe so if there is a concern about leaks the main can be quickly turned off. I have never heard of any problems from turning the main off.

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