Business and enterprise – guidance

National regulation: gas and electricity meters

Ensuring that meters register the correct quantity of gas and electricity consumed.

Regulatory Delivery (RD) is only responsible for electricity and gas metering accuracy and complaints about billing should firstly be directed to the supplier concerned. The Citizens Advice consumer service can assist you with this and provide independent advice on energy supply. If your supplier is unable to resolve your dispute then the Energy Ombudsman can investigate.

Billing purposes

Any gas or electricity meter used for the purpose of billing, whether by a licensed energy supplier or a landlord, must be of an approved design. Most domestic and smaller industrial/commercial metering applications are covered by this requirement; therefore only meter types that operate to defined accuracy and performance requirements will be approved.

Meter approval

The approval of meter types under UK national legislation is carried out by RD and the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), or an equivalent EC member state body. Meters may also be approved under the European Measuring Instruments Directive (MID 2004/22/EC). The MID enables a ‘European Type Approval Certificate’ to be issued and the instrument can then be used in any EU member state.

Your gas and electricity meter at home should either be approved under UK national legislation or the MID.

Gas meters

The use and performance of gas meters is governed by Section 17 of the Gas Act 1986 and supporting legislation in the form of Statutory Instruments (SI). The key documents are:

The Gas Act 1986

The provisions set out in the Gas Act 1986 have the effect that:

‘No meter shall be used for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of gas supplied through pipes to any person unless it is stamped either by, or on the authority of, a meter examiner appointed by the Secretary of State.’

In addition, a meter cannot be stamped unless it is of an approved pattern and construction.

This requirement applies to all meters for domestic, commercial and light industrial billing (ie meters up to a maximum flow rate of 1,600 cubic metres per hour at standard conditions of temperature and pressure).

Electricity meters

The use and performance of electricity meters is governed by Schedule 7 of the Electricity Act 1989 and supporting legislation in the form of Statutory Instruments (SI). The key documents are:

The Electricity Act 1989

It is a requirement under Schedule 7 of the Electricity Act 1989 that all meters (ie primary and secondary) used for billing purposes must be of an approved pattern or construction and installed in an approved manner.

Schedule 4

Prior to October 2006 electricity meters were approved under UK national legislation and a list of approved meters is available from Schedule 4 (this list is commonly referred to as ‘Schedule 4’ as this list is a requirement under Schedule 4 of the Meters (Certification) Regulations (SI 1998/1566)).

Certification

Schedule 7 of the Electricity Act 1989 also requires that meters are certified, although this requirement is not applicable to meters installed in non-domestic premises or for secondary meters (eg in a landlord-tenant situation). However, where certification is not required, there must be an agreement, in writing, between the supplier and consumer to dispense with certification and the meter is still required to be approved (ie for billing purposes it is not possible to dispense with the requirements for approval).

Meter accuracy

If you believe your gas or electricity meter is inaccurate, you should always contact your supplier. The legislation does allow for you to have your gas meter or your electricity meter independently tested.

FIT meters

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme is administered by Ofgem. In some cases, meters have been affected by the installation of renewable electricity generating equipment, causing the meter to be inaccurate.

Contact

If you wish to speak to a member of staff please contact:

Electricity Metering Team

Utilities Team
Regulatory Delivery
Stanton Avenue

Teddington
Middlesex
TW11 0JZ

Gas Metering Team

Utilities Team
Regulatory Delivery
Stanton Avenue

Teddington
Middlesex
TW11 0JZ