If you intend to renovate or build an extension to your home, you might find your existing electricity meter is in the way. Alternatively, you might be disabled or elderly and can’t reach your meter, or it’s partially blocking an entrance. Either way, the solution is to move the meter.
But what’s the cost to move an electric meter in the UK?
Depending on factors outlined in this guide, electricity supplier or electricity distribution company engineers will charge between £70 and £1100, with an average of £550, and will take up to six hours. However, you can’t do this yourself. Usually, you contact your electricity supplier, who will ask various questions about relocating the meter. They will then advise you on the way forward and whether you need additional jobs done. Typically, you might need to hire a registered electrician or other trade professionals to do various aspects of moving the electricity supply. However, don’t expect everything to happen tomorrow. A typical lead time for moving the electricity meter and consumer unit will be five or six weeks. However, this gives you ample time to organise a qualified electrician to do ancillary electrical work, which we’ll discuss later.
How much does it cost to move an electric meter?*
The table below gives typical estimates to relocate your electric meter in three different scenarios.
Before you start, remember that it is illegal for anyone except an engineer working on behalf of your electricity supplier or electricity network operator to move an electricity meter. You may need to hire a qualified electrician to do other work, such as moving consumer units and adding backboards or additional wiring. But, actually disconnecting and reconnecting the meter is the supplier’s or network operator’s job.
|Task description||Typical Cost||Time Taken|
|Moving electricity meter 15cm or less||£70 to £150||1 to 2 hours|
|Moving electricity meter up to 3m||£350 to £650||3 to 4 hours|
|Moving electricity meter to a different wall||£650 to £1100||4 to 6 hours|
* Disclaimer – prices are estimates compiled from various resources; only use them as a starting point for your own research. You should contact your electricity supplier and a local electrician to get the most accurate quotes.
If you are disabled, receive the state pension, or are on the Priority Register, you might be exempt from charges related to the electric meter. In addition to the electrical jobs, you might need plastering and painting to make good any repair work. Typically a painter charges between £15 and £25 per hour for labour, while a plasterer charges £15 to £30 per hour. All materials will cost extra.
There are three tiers of work:
1. 15cm or Less Movement
Usually, a meter’s backboard size allows the engineer to move the meter up to 15cm. However, there are specific requirements:
- The meter tails are long enough to accommodate the move.
- There is enough space on the backboard.
- The meter is indoors.
- You don’t need any other changes to your electricity supply.
It is no problem for the electricity supplier’s engineer to do this work. Furthermore, sometimes, the company will do this free of charge.
2. Up To 3 Meters
The next tier moves the meter more than 15cm but less than 3m along the same wall.
- You must pay for a new backboard.
- Depending on how far, the cables might have to be moved by the Electrical Distribution Company.
- You have to pay for longer meter tails. A qualified electrician will do this in conjunction with the meter engineer.
If you are on the Priority Register and the electricity meter blocks access to your house in its original location, your electricity supplier can help with costs.
3. More than 3 Meters
This is the highest tier. If you want to move the meter farther than 3m, need it moved to a different wall, or if you want it moved to the other side of the same wall.
- Your Electricity Distribution Company must move the mains supply cables (Service Cables) to the new location.
- The electrical supplier’s engineer can then move the meter.
- A qualified electrician connects the meter to the consumer unit.
If you have problems sorting out this sequence, contact your supplier, who will help you through the process.
Moving Electricity Meter Considerations & Factors
Before discussing who moves which part, we must look at who owns each part.
Who owns each part?
There are three electrical “parts” involved in moving the meter:
- The service head and service cable – This is the cable that delivers the electricity to the meter and is the property of the Distribution Network Owner ( also known as the Electricity Distribution Company). Only they can handle this.
- The electricity meter – Is the property of the electricity supplier. Generally, they subcontract work to engineers to move the meters. They are not electricians per se and can’t touch the consumer unit or move the service head.
- The consumer unit or fuse board – This is your property. And, can only be moved by a registered and qualified electrician, who you hire to do the job. You cannot work on this.
So, therefore, we now know that if you only have the meter moved, supplier engineers will do this, and your electrician will connect it to the consumer unit. But, if the meter’s new position is a long way from its original location, the Distribution Company engineers must move the service cables first.
Once the Electrical Distribution Company has moved the supply cables, the electricity supplier has moved the meter, and the qualified electrician has connected the meter to the consumer unit, you will probably need some repairs to parts of your home. These could be to the ceiling, inside or outside walls, or floor, and you need to hire trade professionals such as a plasterer and a carpenter to do repairs and a painter/decorator to touch up the paintwork. The table above doesn’t include prices for these trades, and you probably won’t get help in paying for them. Therefore, ask a local handyman or trade professional to give a quote for making good the damage caused by moving the meter. And, don’t forget to find an electrician and how much they charge. It’s essential to get these prices upfront to know how much to pay.
Being without electricity for a long time can be very stressful, especially if you need power for essential medical treatment. So, it’s a good thing to know that you won’t be without electricity for longer than six hours or so.
Planning The Relocation of Electric Meter
Contact your electricity supplier first if you decide you need your electric meter relocated. That is the company who sends you an electricity bill. Their contact phone number or email address will always be on any official documentation, such as a recent bill or letter. Alternatively, you can go on their website and follow the “Contact Us” links.
When you’re in contact, you need the address of the property and the MPAN number. This identifies your meter and lets the electricity supplier know any relevant details.
The supplier will then ask a few questions regarding why and how you want the meter to be moved.
Typical questions might be:
- What are your name and property address? To avoid confusion, use the details from a recent bill.
- What is the MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number)? This information will also be on a recent bill or statement.
- What type of meter do you have?
- What is the meter’s current location?
- How far do you want the meter moved?
- Why do you want to relocate your meter?
Some of these answers will confirm the meter’s details, which the company already has on file. At the same time, others will allow the supplier to allocate the job to the correct department.
Then, the supplier will make an appointment for an engineer to visit your property to view where the meter is and where you want it moved to. Usually, the engineer will be at your house within two working weeks.
Although you’ve already told them this information over the phone, it needs a professional to identify any likely problems that might occur when carrying out the work. It’s also a good idea to supply the name and contact phone number of the property owner to contact if any changes occur.
Finally, when the engineer arrives for the viewing, ensure they have valid identification and make a note of their details before you let them in your house.
Can I move my electric meter myself
The simple answer to this is “NO”. It’s illegal for anyone (Including a qualified electrician you might hire) to disconnect, reconnect or move an electricity meter unless they are working on behalf of the electricity supplier. Similarly, they can’t and won’t interfere with the Electricity Distribution Company’s service cables. However, you will need a qualified electrician to connect the meter to the distribution board or consumer unit.
Is it free to move the electric meter?
Although we have included prices for moving electric meters, previously in this guide, most electricity suppliers will move the meter to a position less than 15 cm away from its original location free of charge. Providing they don’t have to change meter tails or replace the backboard. If in doubt, speak to your electricity supplier about their costs.
Otherwise, suppose you want the meter moved up to 3m away or more, and you are on the Priority Services Register. If the meter blocks your access or you can’t see the meter to read it, your electricity supplier will probably help with the costs. Once again, ask your supplier for details.
How can I have my electric meter moved more cheaply?
If you aren’t happy with your electricity supplier’s charges for moving the meter, you can go to another energy supplier and get another quote. However, there is a slight complication. Only your supplier can move your meter. So, this means you need to change suppliers. But, all isn’t lost; shopping around for a new supplier will often find a company with better electricity charges as well as cheaper meter installation costs. You can find out how to switch suppliers on the Ofgem website.
Many people want their electricity meter moved within their property. It might be because you intend to renovate and the meter is in the way. Alternatively, you might be elderly or disabled and on the Priority Services Register, and your meter partially blocks your access, or it’s in a position where you can’t read it. In all these cases, your electricity supplier can move it. Sometimes you must pay, and other times it’s free of charge, or you pay a proportion of the cost, depending on the tier and your circumstances.
Whichever tier you choose, the trade professional will be working for the electricity supplier or Electricity Distribution Company and is out of your control.
However, you also need someone to connect the meter to the consumer unit and perhaps update your wiring, especially if you’re building an extension.
Complete the form on this page, and you’ll get up to four quotes from qualified electricians to connect your meter and consumer unit.