Can You Move Your Electric Meter?
Updated: Dec 27, 2020
Electricity meters can often be in awkward places. In cellars, kitchen cupboards or under the stairs. If you have been thinking about completing home improvement works, it may become apparent that the meter is in a poor location and needs moving. For example: Your existing meter is hidden away within a kitchen cupboard. You want to fit a new kitchen and alter the layout to best take advantage of the space available. The position of the existing meter could make this awkward.
What's Involved with Moving The Electric Meter?
New Location Planning Moving the electric meter is not a simple as moving any other electrical item in the home. Firstly you need to consider where you want to move the meter to. Most people choose to relocate into an external box, thus ensuring it is not simply moved into another awkward position indoors. If you do choose to go down this route then be aware that the external meter cabinet requires sinking into the wall by cutting the external bricks away in that area. This is usually done by marking the area out and then cutting the bricks away with a diamond blade. This can cause quite a bit of dust, and you will need to dispose of the external bricks removed during this process. Unfortunately this method doesn't leave a very good finish on older stone fronted properties. The fact that the outer blocks are not totally flat faced with stone leaves the meter cabinet looking uneven.
Service Head & Service Cable There are a number of other items which may need moving at the same time. When you think of the electric meter, do you consider the service head at the side of the meter? This needs to be adjacent to the meter and will need moving at the same time. This is where the power supply from outdoors comes into the property, and hence the 'service cable' is connected to this. The service head acts as a joint between the service cable and the meter. Moving the service cable is not a simple task. If you are wanting this relocating to an outdoor meter cabinet then it will probably be necessary to dig up outside your house/up the drive to re-route the cable. Fuse Board / Consumer Unit On one side of the electric meter is the service head. On the other side is your fuse board (also called a consumer unit). The cables at the bottom of the electric meter lead off into this and then the power runs around the rest of the circuits in your home. The cables supplying the fuse board do have a maximum length of 3M. It is possible to have a longer length if an 'intermediate fuse board' is used at the electric meter end. However if you have gone to the effort of moving the electric meter because it is in the way, then doing this kind of defeats the object of moving the meter to gain space. In quite a lot of cases, the fuse board will be either next to, or on a wall nearby the electric meter. As such, it is highly likely that the fuse board could need moving during this process. As you can see, simply moving the meter is not always as easy it first seems!
Who Should Move My Electric Meter? And What About The Other Stuff? You will need to involve a number of different people in order to complete this project. There is no one single company that can move all 3 (or even just 2) of the trio (Service Head/Cable, Meter & Fuse board). This is because different companies have different responsibilities for the separate equipment. This following list explains who you need to involve in your project (and at what stage) when you want to move your electric meter:
The Service Head & The Service Cable - The service head & cable are the property of the DNO (Distribution Network Owner). This is not your electricity supplier.
Electricity Meter - This is the property of your actual electricity supplier. A lot of companies have sub-contract engineers who complete the work on their behalf, although these are not electricians and will neither move your service head or your fuse board/consumer unit
Fuse Board/Consumer Unit - This is your own property and your responsibility to have moved. Obviously this is not something you can do yourself and will need a qualified and registered electrician to complete for you.
How Much Does it Cost To Move My Electric Meter? In order to work a project cost for this sort of job out, you will need to get the prices from the 3 different companies mentioned above.