How to move your gas or electricity meter

Reasons for moving gas meters or electric meters 

Whether it’s due to a home renovation or issues with accessibility, there are occasions when moving a gas or electricity meter is necessary. If you’re considering moving a meter, here’s what you need to know first. 

Moving electric meters isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. It can be costly, messy and time-consuming. For most people, the main reason to move their meter is due to building work. This includes home extensions or renovations that require knocking down walls. When the gas or electricity meter is attached to one of these walls, it will need to be reinstalled elsewhere. 

Another reason to move your meter is if it’s difficult to access. Sometimes meters are placed at a height, or within a cupboard that’s not easily accessible for readings. If you find that you’re unable to take regular readings, it might be worth a move. 

Who can move a meter?

Moving gas meters is a difficult process, so it’s not something you can do yourself. It’s illegal for anyone but a qualified, licensed professional to change the meter’s position. This is due to health and safety reasons – for example, you’ll need to turn the gas supply off to avoid accidents. The same holds true for moving electric meters, particularly when the supply is disrupted as part of the moving process. 

So who can move a meter? The answer depends on where you plan to move it. If you’re only moving it within one metre of its original location, your energy supplier should be the first port of call. If you want to move it outside or to an entirely different location, you’ll need to contact the gas transporter or electricity distributor. This is because the process will require additional work, such as shutting off and reconnecting your supply. You might also need to get in touch with a licensed electrician or gas engineer. 

The cost of moving a gas or electric meter

As you can see, moving electric meters or gas meters can be a complicated process. The cost to move a gas meter will vary widely depending on the distance and location. For small changes within one metre of the original position, your energy supplier might be willing to move the meter free of charge. This is certainly the case if you’re a priority customer, falling under one of the following categories:

  • Listed on the Priority Services Register

  • Have a long-term disability or illness

  • You’re of pensionable age

In these cases, you can expect the supplier to move your meter a short distance free of charge. For all other customers, the supplier will give you a quote when you get in touch. 

When the job requires longer distances involving an outside party, the cost to move a gas meter or electric meter usually range between £400 and £1000. Some may even charge more than this, as it all depends on the scope of the project. Moving an electric meter to an outside wall could be more  complicated than it appears at first glance, requiring the assistance of an engineer.

Is there a way to cut these costs? Potentially, if the work is carried out by your supplier. You could shop around to find a new energy supplier with a more favourable quote. Many include meter installation or movement as part of a package, so it’s always worth comparing options. 

What to know about moving a smart meter

If you have a smart meter installed, this can be moved as well. Smart meters offer several unique features. They present your usage information via a digital display and connect to the supplier over a network connection. Yet when it comes down to the mechanics of a smart meter, it’s not so different from the traditional gas and electricity meters. The process of moving a smart meter is the same. 

Most energy suppliers are in the process of offering smart meters to customers as part of the planned government rollout scheme. If you’re about to have a smart meter installed by your supplier, consider the placement. You might be able to install the smart meter in a different location to your existing gas and electricity meters, depending on supply connections. 

How to get started when moving an energy meter

The first step in moving a gas or electricity meter is contacting your energy supplier. You supplier will ask you a few questions to determine whether or not it’s possible for them to take on the job. Typical questions will include: 

  • Why do you wish to move your meter?

  • What type of meter do you wish to move? 

  • Where is your meter at present? 

  • How far do you want it moved? 

  • What type of connector are you using?

If you want to move your meter a short distance, this will most likely be possible. However, if you wish to move electric meter to an outside wall or a different room, the supplier may be unable to assist you. If able to take on the work, you will get a quote. 

Prices will vary depending on the supplier and extent of the job, so be sure to shop around to get a few quotes. It’s important to note that only your current supplier is able to move the meter, so if you find a better quote you’ll need to switch suppliers. You’ll need to compare tariffs as well as the cost to move a gas meter to find out if this is really a good option or not. 

If the supplier is unable to assist you at all, the next step is to contact your local gas transporter and electricity distributor. Both will be able to move a gas meter outside, or install your meters across larger distances. In some cases, a registered gas engineer and electrician must be brought on board as well. For example, they might need to reconnect your supply if it’s disrupted, fit a tricky meter box or dig a special area for the installation. 

Because there are so many different variables involved, it’s difficult to predict just how long the full process will take. Generally moving a meter won’t take more than a few hours, but if electricians and engineers are involved the work might be carried out over a period spanning several weeks.

Setting up or altering your gas and electricity connection

Sometimes moving a meter means you’ll need to alter the connection or even set it up completely from scratch. In these cases, you’ll need to contact the local electricity distributor or gas transporter. They’ll quote you a price that covers not only the costs of the works solely for your use, but also a proportion of the cost incurred for reinforcing the network as part of the connection. According to Ofgem regulations, the distributor must offer you a connection within three months, along with information on how charges have been calculated. You should also be provided with a guide or any other relevant information about the connection process. 

Along with arranging the electricity and gas supply to your property, you’ll also need an energy supplier to get the electric meter installed or move a gas meter outside. It’s a good idea to compare prices to find the best deal, and sort this connection out at the same time to avoid delays. 

If there are any further issues with your supply or moving the meter, you can contact Citizens Advice or Ofgem for further assistance. 

Ben GallizziEnergy Expert - Nov 11th 2019