Frequently Asked Questions
This information is provided to assist readers but the AMO can not accept any responsibility for the consequences of following the advice.

Question Answer
What metering is appropriate for a small generator - less than 3kW size e.g. Photo-voltaic panels or small wind turbine? How do I get the metering installed?

Contact your energy supplier (or purchaser) of electricity for details of the metering they require. AMO members can advise of the costs for installing metering. Select members from the members pages who deals with "small" electricity meters. Further information can be found on the Ofgem website and from the Electricity Safety Council guidance note.

Do I get charged for changing a prepayment meter to a normal credit meter?

You need to speak to your energy supplier who will arrange for the meter operator to visit and change the meter, or reconfigure it remotely where this is possible. Some suppliers charge for changing the meter.

Where do I find the specification for meter boxes?

Many manufactures produce electricity and gas meter boxes, a search of the internet will list several manufacturers/suppliers. Standard meter boxes are available from many builders merchants.  BS 8499:2009 Specification for domestic gas meter boxes and meter bracket, was published in 2009 and BS 8567:2012 Specification for outdoor electricity meter cupboards, was published in 2012.

My meter box is damaged, what do I do?

The meter box is regarded as the property of the customer, so any damage should be repaired by the customer to ensure the metering equipment is properly protected against the environment. Energy suppliers can arrange for repairs on a chargeable basis, or the customer can purchase replacement parts through builder merchants or suppliers such as www.ritherdon.co.uk or www.meterboxes.co.uk or www.meterboxesdirect.co.uk.

I am a landlord whose tenants have had a prepayment meter installed, how do I get the prepayment meter changed to a normal credit meter?

You will need to contact the former tenants' energy supplier, you can then discuss the best approach, either to keep the prepayment meter in place with you taking on the payment of the energy account until the premises are re-let, or changing the meter to a normal credit meter. The decision will often depend upon the best payment arrangements for the future tenants. If the previous tenants have left without paying the final charges to the energy supplier the energy supplier may ask for your assistance in obtaining their forwarding address, etc.

I am electrician, can I have permission to remove the cut-out fuse to fit an isolator switch or change a consumer unit?

No. To remove the cut-out fuse the security seals will be broken, this is not only dangerous but can leave you and/or the property owner liable to prosecution for energy theft. A review occurred in 2009 which has resulted in publishing a document aimed at electricians - go to DCUSA then open for de-energisation FAQ on second page.

I am a large electricity customer that is having half hourly metering fitted, why do I have to sign an agreement to provide metering separate from the energy supply?

The metering agreement is between yourself (as premises owner/tenant) and your chosen Meter Operator. This agreement only describes the obligations associated with the metering and its associated communications equipment. The meter operator agreements may last five years or more and enables you to independently select an energy supplier who can give you best value at the time of the agreement. Contact a member listed on the AMO member pages

Can I own my own electricity meter?

Yes, the requirement is enshrined in the revisions to the Electricity Act 1989, which now states: "An authorised supplier may refuse to allow one of his customers to provide a meter only if there are reasonable grounds for his refusal." Customers procuring their own meters has been normal practice for larger electricity customers operating with half hourly meters since 1994. It is becoming increasingly common for customers (generally non-domestic) who are contracting directly with a Meter Operator for the provision of a 'smart' electricity meter. Smart meters generally provide half hourly data for energy management purposes and have communications so that regular accurate meter readings can be provided to the energy supplier.

I am disabled and can not read my meter, can I get it moved?

Yes - Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires all those providing a service to make reasonable adjustments in providing their services.  Schedule 6, para 1 of the Electricity Act 1989, says: "Where an electricity supplier, for the purpose of meeting the needs of a disabled person - (a) alters the position of any electricity meter provided by him for a customer of his; or (b) replaces such a meter with one which has been specially adapted, the supplier shall not charge the customer for the alteration or replacement." Schedule 2B, para 6 of the Gas Act 1986 has similar wording. So any changes should be done free of charge - contact your energy supplier.

Can I own my own gas meter?

Yes, the requirement is enshrined in the revisions to the Gas Act 1986. Customers procuring their own meters has been common practice for larger I&C customers. It is becoming increasingly common for customers (generally non-domestic) to either own, or connect a logging device to an existing gas meter, with communications, so that regular accurate meter readings can be provided to the energy supplier, and for the customer's own energy management.

Can I connect to the pulse output of a gas meter?

Making electrical connections to gas meters must be made by a suitably qualified person, who is acting within the various rules, laws, regulations, directives and standards that relate to hazardous areas and intrinsic safety.  Guidance can be sought from the IGEM document GM/7. You must contact the owner of the equipment for permission prior to making any electrical connection. In April 2010 the AMO produced a model agreement for making a connection, a copy is on the news page. Existing connections must not be disturbed without permission of the meter owner.

I want to know the electricity supplier for an address?

Call the relevant electricity distribution company enquiry line: Distribution enquiry line

I want to know the gas supplier for an address?

Call the gas distribution company enquiry line on 0870 608 1524

How can I get my meter moved?

Contact your electricity or gas supplier who will arrange for their appointed metering company to do the work.  Never attempt to move the meter yourself, it is dangerous and can lead to prosecution.

How long can meter tails be?

The meter tails should be as short as possible.  Different metering companies have different policies but the length should always be less than 3 metres of cable from the cut-out through the metering equipment to the consumer unit.  A example may be 1m of cable from the cut-out to the meter, then 1.5m from the meter to the consumer unit.  The meter tail cable size must be consistent.  BS7671 Reg 434.2.1 gives some guidance.  If the consumer unit is required to be further away, then a switch-fuse unit should be installed close to the meter and a sub-main compliant with BS7671.

Do sub-meters need to comply with any standards?

Yes. Statutory Instrument SI1679:2006 & SI2647:2006 apply, "…3. — (1) A "relevant instrument" is an active electrical [or gas] energy meter which is for use for trade." This means sub-meters are within the scope of the SIs when used for trade. In practice, where the owner of a multi-building commercial premises installs sub-meters to determine each building energy use. If these meters are used for energy management purposes then they do not need to comply with the SIs.  If the owner then rents out one of the buildings to a tenant and uses the meter from recharging the energy to that customer then the meter is used for "trade‟ and, to be a legal trade, the metering should comply with the SIs.

How do I report suspected meter tampering?

Meter tampering is not only illegal but it is extremely dangerous. If you know someone who has tampered with their meter or is attempting to defraud their electricity or gas supplier please fill out the form on the UKRPA website

If I need any meter work can I arrange for a timed appointment?

Yes. When access is required to perform metering work, and the customer needs to be present, metering companies are required to offer a morning or afternoon, or if required a timed appointment within a two hour period. See:- Electricity SI698:2010 Regulation 19 Gas 1135:2005 Regulation 6 (as amended)

If I have a cancelled appointment for meter work can I get compensation?

Yes. When an appointment is cancelled without a working day's notice, subject to some exceptions, then a fixed payment will be made to the customer. See:- Electricity SI698:2010 Regulation 19 Gas 1135:2005 Regulation 6 (as amended)

What are smart meters?

Consumer Focus has developed range of advice for customers on smart meters Consumer Focus Smart Meters

The Department of Energy & Climate Change have consumer facing webpages and industry stakeholder webpages

I have microgeneration (solar, wind of CHP) fitted - should my meter run backwards?

No. The meter should be changed. Energy UK have published a guide.  The AMO have published technical details on our news page. Ofgem have also published guidance.

I think my meter is inaccurate?

If you have concerns about your meter accuracy then speak to your energy supplier. Most concerns about meter accuracy, after investigation, are not actually problems with the meter. After discussion with the supplier a formal determination can be arranged. Typically, if the meter is found to be accurate the customer will be charged for the investigation. The government's National Measurement Office publishes further information and statistics which demonstrate that over 90% of meters submitted for test are accurate.