Who Is Responsible for My Electricity Meter ?

The electricity meter attached to your home is responsible for measuring your energy use and ultimately for determining how much your monthly bill will be. This makes the meter an important piece of equipment, which you should treat with respect and know how to read. When it comes to the installation and basic maintenance of the meter, your energy supplier will take the lead and make sure that the device is properly attached to your home and functioning properly. However, when it comes to taking readings and recognizing if there is a fault with the meter, you are responsible.

Proper Installation
A professional should always install the electricity meter on your home. If you are changing tariffs and need a new meter, you will never be responsible for removing the old meter and attaching the new one. All UK households will be upgraded to a smart meter by the year 2020, and your energy supplier will send a representative to your home to switch out the meters. You may be responsible for being home at the time of installation, but you arent in charge of doing any of the hard labor related to physically installing the meter or conducting initial tests to make sure it works.

Taking Readings
If your energy company doesnt get a monthly reading from you, your bill will be based on an estimate that the company creates based on your past behavior and the time of year. If you want your bill to be more accurate, you are responsible for taking down a reading and sending it on to your energy supplier. In most cases, this is as easy as writing down the first five numbers on the front of the meter, ignoring numbers in red or digits that fall after a decimal point. You can sometimes submit your reading online, or send it to a toll free number using a mobile phone.

Recognizing Faults
You are responsible for noticing if your meter stops registering your energy use correctly. Given the large amount of customers that your electricity supplier services, they wont notice that something is amiss with your meter before you do. More often than not you will notice that something is wrong with the meter when you take down an unusually high reading and get a bill that costs more than average. If you think that your meter has stopped measuring your energy correctly, contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible. They might give you a test meter, which will take a separate reading that can be compared to your regular meter to check for discrepancies. You will be asked to monitor this meter and report back.

Reporting and Repairs
If it is determined that there is in fact something wrong with your meter, your energy provider is responsible for seeing that your meter is fixed or replaced. You wont have to pay for these repairs. If you have been erroneously billed for too much money while the meter was malfunctioning, your energy provider should provide you with a refund for the money that was overpaid. In some cases you may be asked to be at home when the meter is accessed, but much like the initial installation you will never be asked to conduct a repair on your own meter. You shouldnt attempt to do it, even if you have experience with electrical work, because if you break the meter in the process you may become responsible for paying to replace it.

Your electricity meter is the responsibility of both you and your energy provider. In order to keep it running smoothly, your provider should set it up correctly and you should watch it carefully to make sure that any potential errors or signs of a faulty meter are recognized sooner than later. When in doubt about how to take any action regarding your meter, always contact your energy supplier. You may be issued a key to open the box around the meter, and you are responsible for keeping it safe. If you lose the key your energy supplier can issue you a new one; you may need to write down and send the serial number or other identifying information on the meter.

For anyone shocked by their electricity meter  reading, the energy price comparison pages at uSwitch is one way of helping you to reduce your energy cost and is often recommended by author  Sam Jones.


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