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How to change or relocate your UK electricity meter

Types of electricity meter

The most common types of electricity meter in the UK are the standard meters. These consist of a mechanical display and allows for a simple and easy reading of the energy consumption. The rate at which electricity has been charged by the utility provider remains the same for the whole day, there is no off-peak discount.

Economy 7 meters

These meters appear similar to standard meters and allow for reading of daytime and night-time electricity consumption. The idea behind these models is to make the most of the lower electricity rate during the night while at the same time reducing the usage during the day.

Prepay meters

As the name suggests, you have to top up your credit on the electricity meter in the same way as you would do with a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. This type of meter unit is ideal for restricted budgets and eliminates the risk of high electricity bills at the end of the month. These meters ensure no overspending on electricity.

Smart meters

These are part of a government scheme being introduced in the UK. Most homes will have a smart meter for their utilities (gas and electric) by 2020. Smart meters communicate readings directly to the provider ensuring a more accurate billing. This removed the need for a manual recording by either customers or utility providers, thus eliminating the use of estimated bills and lowering any risk of errors. The wireless connection of smart meters can be impacted if the transmitter is inside a metal cabinet.

Conveniently, smart meter readings are easily accessed through different mediums including online, on smart energy monitor device, mobile phone applications, etc. Please note that smart meters should comply with the government standards Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS-complaint).

Moving your electricity meter

If you are undertaking home renovations and repair works, or if access to your electricity meter is causing difficulties with meter readings, you may be looking at relocating the unit to somewhere more accessible and convenient.

Who can move electricity meters?

Electricity meters can only be moved by a registered professional. It is both illegal and dangerous to move your electricity meter yourself.
Depending on the distance you would like to relocate your meter you should contact either your electricity supplier or your local electricity distributor.

Moving a meter less than 1m away from its current location
Your current electricity supplier should be able to carry the work for you. It is advisable to request quotes from different suppliers and do a price comparison. Only your current electricity supplier can move the electric meter, therefore you might have to switch supplier before starting the work if you wish to secure a lower quote.

Moving your electricity meter more than 1m away
In the event of moving the unit more than one meter from its original location, you will have to contact your local electricity distributor. The Distribution Network Operators (DNO) are the owners and operators of the network towers and cables which transport the electricity from the national transmission network to your home. These will differ depending on the region, check the national grid for a full listing.

They will carry out the work and supply the cables for your home. The fees vary depending on the distributor and the scale of work which is required. A registered electrician might also be necessary to connect or reconnect your home and fit a metering box.

Electricity meter boxes

A wide range of electric meter box housings or electric cupboards is available to suit any type of meter installation and all locations. This includes those located inside or outside of a property. Such housings can be surface mounted or recessed into the wall depending on preference and requirements. GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) electrical meter boxes can also be painted to blend with their surroundings.

Electricity meter box – Surface

Surface mounted electricity meter boxes

  • Very easy to install.
  • Suitable for all meter types including prepay and smart
  • Glass reinforced plastic material.
  • Uninterrupted wireless signal for wireless meters (non-metallic material).
  • Surface mounted meter box is secured in position onto the wall.

Recessed or flush mounted electricity meter boxes

Commonly used in new builds and ideal where space is limited, recessed or built-in meter boxes are located within a wall and appear smaller.

  • Fits inside the cavity in wall
  • Glass reinforced plastic material
  • Uninterrupted wireless signal for wireless meters (non-metallic material).