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Electricity meters introduction

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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. The key documents are: Electricity Meter

  • The Meters (Approval of Pattern or Construction and Manner of Installation) Regulations 1998, SI 1565
  • The Meters (Certification) Regulations 1998, SI 1566
  • The Electricity (Approval of Pattern or Construction and Installation and Certification) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, SI 3129
  • The Measuring Instruments (EC Requirements) (Electrical Energy Meters) Regulations 1995, SI 2607
  • The Measuring Instruments (EC Requirements) (Electrical Energy Meters) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, SI 3082
  • The Measuring Instruments (Active Electrical Energy Meters) Regulations 2006, SI 1679

It is a requirement under Schedule 7 of the Electricity Act 1989 that all meters (i.e. primary and secondary) used for billing purposes must be of an approved pattern or construction and installed in an approved manner. 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 1998 SI 1566).

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 (e.g. 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 (i.e. for billing purposes it is not possible to dispense with the requirements for approval).

Since October 2006 Electricity meters may also be approved under the European Measuring Instruments Directive (MID 2004/22/EC).

Meters approved under the MID can be identified by their prescribed markings. These include the CE marking as well as the metrology “M-marking”, which consists of the capital letter ‘M’ followed by the last two digits of the year of manufacture in a box, for example: 

If your meter does not display such markings, it is likely to be a UK nationally approved meter.

Once you have checked your electricity meter, click on the relevant link on the left-hand side of the page for more information.

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