How to move your gas or electricity meter

Last updated: 30 April 2021

In this guide you’ll find answers to the following questions:

  • Can I move my electricity or gas meter?

  • Why would I want to move my gas meter or electric meter?

  • Who can move a meter?

  • How much does it cost to move a gas meter or electric meter?

  • What do I need to know about moving a smart meter?

  • How do I get started moving an energy meter?

  • What if I need to alter my gas and electricity connection?

Can I move my electricity or gas meter?

Yes, but it’s not a simple task and depending on the work involved could prove quite costly. Ask yourself if it’s essential you need to go about moving your gas meter or moving your electricity meter – for example, you may be about to undertake building work that will require the meter to be moved, or you’re struggling to read or access your meter in its current position.

Why would I want to move my gas meter or electric meter? 

Given that moving energy meters can be costly, messy, and time-consuming, most people choose to move their meter(s) when undertaking 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 reading. If you find that you’re unable to take regular readings, it might be worth moving the meter. 

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. 

Can I move my gas or electric meter myself?

No, 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 – such as a Gas Safe engineer – 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. How do I go about moving an electric meter or moving a gas meter for free?

You shouldn’t assume you’ll have to pay to move your meter – for small changes within one metre of the original position, your energy supplier might be willing to move the gas or electric meter free of charge. This is certainly the case if you’re a priority customer, fitting into one of the following categories:

  • Listed on the Priority Services Register (you’ll need to prove you’re struggling to access or read your meter)

  • Have a long-term disability or illness

  • You’re of pensionable age

Some may even move the meter for free regardless of whether or not you’re in the above group. This will depend on the meter:

Gas meter

For example, SSE may be willing to move your gas meter up to 90 centimetres away for free if (a) the meter has a flexible hose connector, (b) it’s staying on the same side of the wall, and (c) the wall is clear. You would need to get confirmation first, however.

Electricity meter

Again, taking SSE as an example, it will move your electricity meter for free up to 15 centimetres along the wooden backboard it’s currently mounted on. Note, the meter must be inside your property, there’s enough room on the backboard to move it, the meter tails are long enough, and no changes are required to your electricity supply.

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. 

How much does it cost to move a gas meter or electric meter?

If your proposed move can’t be done for free, the cost to move one or both meters will vary widely depending on the distance you’re moving them as well as their present and intended location. 

When the job requires longer distances involving a third party – typically your Local Distribution Centre or gas transporter, the cost to move a gas meter or electric meter usually ranges between £400 and £1,000. Some may even charge more than this, as it 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, for example, requiring the additional assistance of an engineer.

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

What do I need 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. Note, that reading the meter directly isn’t necessarily something to worry about if yours came with an In Home Display (IHD) you can place where you like.

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 its 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 do I get started moving an energy meter?

The first step in moving a gas or electricity meter is contacting your energy supplier. Your supplier will ask you a few questions to determine if it can take on the job. Typical questions 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 – SSE says it can sometimes move meters up to three metres away on the same wall, for example. However, if you wish to move the electric meter to an outside wall or a different room, the supplier may be unable to assist you. If it can take on the work, you’ll be sent 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 if you’re shopping around suppliers for a quote, only your current supplier can move the meter, so you may need to switch suppliers if you find a better deal elsewhere. You’ll need to compare tariffs as well as the cost to move a meter to find out if it’s a viable option or not.

If your 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.

If you go down this route, have the following information to hand before contacting the engineer:

  • Your property’s full address – including the owner’s name and contact telephone number

  • Your MPRN number – you’ll find this on your latest bill

  • Details of how far you wish to move the meter

How much is a meter?

If you’re switching to a smart meter, then the cost is free (there may be a cost involved switching back to a standard meter from a smart meter though – check with your supplier). The same is true when replacing a faulty meter. However, you may be charged when switching from a prepayment meter to a standard meter if there are any outstanding payments or debts attached to the house’s account.

What if I need to alter my gas and electricity connection?

If moving your meter involves altering your connection, or you’re looking to set up a gas and/or electricity connection from scratch, 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.

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Published on Mon 11 Nov 2019 03.46 GMT