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What should I do if I have a faulty or broken electricity meter box?

Having a faulty or broken electricity meter can be hazardous and costly.

Unexpected high electricity bills can be a sign of faulty electricity meter. Before contacting your energy supplier, check if any significant changes to your lifestyle could have impacted your electricity consumption. Changing appliances, replacing a boiler, having extra guests living in your home, or even DIY can have a substantial impact on your electricity bill.

As nowadays electricity meters are more reliable, it is advisable to monitor the consumption and eliminate doubt. It is good practice keep a log of the meter readings. You can check the readings in the morning, in the evening, during weekdays and weekends, and might solve the mystery of unexpected high bill. 

If you still suspect your meter to be faulty, you can run a few checks to verify if there are any issues.

Step. 1 Some simple tests to check if your electricity meter is faulty

  • To begin with, turn off all the appliances and check if the numbers on your meter are still moving, you might have to wait up to one hour for the meter to record all the energy used.
  • If the numbers on the meter have stopped moving, turn back on one appliance at the time. If one of the appliances trigger your meter to run quickly, then that appliance might be faulty and should be checked by a qualified electrician.
  • If the numbers are still moving even when all the appliances are switched off, then your electricity meter might be faulty. In this case, you should contact your electricity supplier who will investigate the issue.

Most common FAULTS in electricity meters:

  • Electricity consumption recording has stopped and the meter does not record when you are using electricity.
  • Meter reading display has disappeared.
  • Economy 7 meters can “fall out of line” that is to say the off-peak rate comes up at an unusual time, stays on too long or finishes too early. 
  • Faulty prepaid meters can show an error message or a blank screen.

 Electricity meter LEAKING

Although extremely rare, electricity meters can leak. If you notice a hot black substance leaking from your meter and can smell a strange odour, you should contact your local network operator immediately (Scotland and UK) or dial 105, the electricity helpline.

If the substance is cold and there is no smell call your utility provider who will be able to take your details and advise on the situation.

Step 2. Contacting your electricity supplier

Following on from testing home appliance consumption you can contact your electricity supplier. They may be able to diagnose if there is a potential fault of a more serious nature. In some cases, they might want to send an engineer to investigate further.

If you make a request for a test to be conducted, be aware that some electricity suppliers will charge up front for this to be carried out and will only reimburse the payment if the meter is indeed found to be faulty. It is best to clarify these elements prior to any work being carried out.

After testing has concluded, you should receive a letter explaining the details and findings of the investigation work carried out by the supplier along with how it can be fixed and an estimate of how long it will take to complete the work necessary.

Step 3. Protecting your electricity meter

It is important to keep your meter in good condition and protected. A strong, durable and water-resistant meter box housing is advised in order to limit access to the meter unit and offer protection from any damage or tampering.

Once your electricity meter has been changed or repaired, you should check to ensure that a suitable meter box housing protects your electrical meter.

Electrical meter boxes can be purchased from your local builders’ merchants or online. Overboxes, meter enclosures, repairs kits, spare parts such as doors, keys, locks & latches are also available to repair any damage to a meter enclosure.