A high-quality meter box is built to last, but it won’t stay unscathed forever. Eventually, every unit will need an upgrade or repair, and when that happens it’s important the work is done quickly so that your energy meter stays protected from the elements.
These facts are relatively straightforward, but when it comes to the question of who is responsible for that repair, things get more complicated. In fact, many people have no idea what their responsibilities are when it comes to the upkeep of their meter boxes.
In this post, we’ll explore exactly who is responsible for meter box maintenance and repair, and the regulations that surround the process.
Why might your meter box need repairing or replacing?
An external meter box is built to withstand the worst that British weather can throw at it. From torrential rain to howling winds and even that rare scorching sunlight, a meter box is built to endure.
But this can be a lot, especially over time. Eventually, plastic and metal meter boxes will both weaken, leaving them at risk of damage even through normal use. General wear and tear can weaken hinges and locks, while external boxes are always at risk of deliberate vandalism.
In most cases, it will be pretty obvious when your meter box is in need of repair. It may look tatty, cracked or chipped, or the door may become loose or even fall off completely. While a tired-looking meter box doesn’t always mean a new box is necessary, it is usually a sign that some form of maintenance is needed.
Who is responsible for replacing or repairing your meter box if it is damaged?
In most cases, it is usually the property owner who is responsible for maintaining a meter box. This is the same for both internal and external boxes.
Historically, gas and electricity boards owned all meter boxes. This meant the responsibility to replace or repair a broken meter box lay with the electricity or gas supplier. However, deregulation has now changed this, and it’s down to the homeowner to maintain the boxes that protect their energy meters, whether that is a gas meter box or an electricity meter box.
The exception to this is if you live in shared or social housing. If you are unclear whether this applies to you, you can speak to your energy company for further clarification.
Who is responsible for maintaining your energy meter?
It is worth noting that the content in this post applies only to the outer meter box cover – not the meter itself. If you notice any problems or damage with the physical meter, you need to speak to your energy supplier. You should do this as soon as is practical.
You should never try to fix or even fiddle with the meter itself. To do so is highly dangerous and could leave you open to accusations of energy theft.
Can I replace my own meter box?
Any homeowner is able to repair or replace their own meter box, as long as they don’t interfere with the meter itself.
We design all our replacement parts and meter overboxes to be quick and simple to install, so you can make necessary updates to your own meter box. With a task this easy, it is rarely necessary to pay for professional help – to see just how simple it is, take a look at our ‘how to’ guides on meter box repair.
What are the regulations when it comes to repairing meter boxes?
While it is your legal responsibility to upkeep your meter box, the specifics of how and why it should be maintained are actually detailed in wider building standards and regulations that cover the installation and use of your meter as well:
Gas meter boxes:
The 1998 Gas Safety Regulations offer advice on how to protect your external gas meter box against damage, as well as offering advice on suitable designs. The Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers states “consumers are responsible for gas meter box upkeep. Gas meter boxes can either be installed by the property owner or the supplier. Once installed the meter box is under the responsibility of the property owner for its maintenance.”
Electric meter boxes:
The most relevant legislation around electric meter box maintenance is covered by the BS 7671 Wiring Regulations, which set out the regulations that electricians must follow when they install a meter.
When it comes to the meter boxes themselves, this means that electric meter boxes that are outside the house must be kept in a secure ‘enclosure’ that can only be accessed using a key. A fully functioning electric meter box will perform this job well, but if it gets damaged or broken, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to replace or fix the box to prevent further damage.
What to do if your gas or electricity meter boxes are broken?
All this means that if your electricity meter box or gas meter box gets damaged, it is your responsibility to remedy it. This might mean finding smaller replacement parts such as hinges or repair kits, or even fitting a new overbox to protect the whole area.
Luckily, whatever repair you need to make, here at Repair My Meter Box we stock affordable but high-quality meter box parts to help you get your energy meter properly protected again. Get in touch with us today if you need any help finding the parts you need.