We’ll look at the supply and labour costs separately, before exploring other relevant subjects, like how long an installation may take, and whether you can fit a gas and electric meter by yourself.
A gas and electric meter is designed to track the energy consumption of your home. This data is then passed on to your energy provider either by you or the meter itself, so that you can be billed appropriately.
Gas and electric meters are popular because with a meter installed, you’re less likely to face a higher bill as you might from estimates used to determine a bill for a property with no meter.
Some homeowners are also now using smart meters due to the fact that they provide the most accurate readings and submit data to the energy provider automatically.
On average, a customer will spend somewhere in the range of £200 to £800 to have a gas meter installed. However, due to higher average labour costs, the cost of installing an electric meter tends to be between £210 to £1000.
Of course this price will vary depending on a range of different factors, which we’ll discuss later in this section. However, let’s first take a look at the labour costs, and then the supply costs.
Nationwide, the average heating engineer charges about £38 to £46 an hour. Based on this figure, the average labour cost of having a gas or electric meter installed is likely to end up somewhere between £38 and £92.
However, some labourers charge per job rather than by the hour, in which case labour prices could be higher. The average cost to hire an electrician is £50 to £120 per hour. In this case, the total would reach about £50 to £240 in labour costs.
As for the cost of the materials, which is part of the overall fee of purchasing a gas or electric meter, this will likely land in the range of £160 to £710.
There are plenty of factors that shape both the labour costs and supply costs and therefore the overall price of installing a gas or electric meter.
As for the former, heating engineers charge different rates in different parts of the country with prices highest in the southeast and London in particular, but lower in regions such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the north of England.
As an example, heating engineers charge just £30 to £36 an hour in East Devon, £30 to £38 per hour in Swansea but as high as £70 to £80 per hour in Gloucester.
Labour rates will also vary depending on the complexity of the installation, as this could prolong the job, potentially adding an extra work hour. The same goes for electricians.
As for supply costs, these can vary depending on ease of access to electric/gas supply and the size/type of meter.
For instance, based on pressure levels of a gas supply, gas meters are broken down into progressively more expensive units categorised by size.
Examples include U6, U16, U25, U40, U100, and U160. Electric meters can also vary in size and quality. Of course, you’d pay more to have a smart meter installed than you would for a basic gas or electric meter.
|Size of Meter
|£200 to £450
|£450 to £700
|£700 to £1000
Want to know the differences between a gas and electric meter? In this section, we’ll lay out the features of each type, how much they cost, and take a look at their pros & cons.
If you decide to have gas heating installed, then a gas meter will be needed for you to be billed more accurately.
To heat a home, it’s much cheaper to do so with gas meter prices being around £4.17 per kWh. Gas heating is also especially efficient.
This type of heating can also be turned on and off with ease. However, gas heating is less eco-friendly than using electricity and gas boilers should be serviced annually.
In general, fitting a gas meter costs about £200 to £800, depending on the size and quality of the installation.
A gas meter is a flow meter designed to detect the volume of fuel gases that pass through it. Through extrapolation, the meter can then make a fairly accurate measure of how much gas energy your property has consumed. Of course, if it’s a smart meter, it will be even more accurate.
✔ Gas heating is cheaper
✔ Efficient heating option
✖ Gas boilers should be serviced each year
✖ Tend to be more difficult to read
✖ Not as eco-friendly
An electric meter can detect electric current and as with a gas meter, make a good estimate as to how much energy a property is using.
One notable advantage of electric meters is that if your heating is powered electrically, you won’t need a gas meter but of course if your home uses gas heating, you’d still need an electric meter to detect how much electricity your home is using for other purposes. In other words, it can be an all-in-one solution.
Though electric heating prices are about £16.36 per kWh, making it a lot more expensive than gas heating, installing electric central heating tends to be cheaper.
Further, electric heating is low-maintenance, relatively quiet, more environmentally-friendly, and highly efficient, especially if you use a modern storage heater.
Also, with Economy 7 tariffs, you can avail of lower energy prices. An electric meter installation may cost between £210 and £1000 but it will depend on the quality and size of the meter.
✔ Tend to be easier to read
✔ More eco-friendly if you’re fitting an electric meter
✔ Generally cheaper to install electric heating
✔ Can be an all-in-one solution to domestic metering
✖ More expensive to run electric heating
To start with, you’ll need to get in touch with an installation company or your local distribution network operator (DNO).
Please note that an energy network operator is not the same as the actual supplier, with the DNO representing the people who make everything run smoothly, while the supplier deals with customers.
Unless you contact your DNO, you should ask for quotes from at least three companies before making a decision.
Let’s now discuss what’s involved in a gas meter installation and electric meter installation. On the day of the having the meter fitted, a contractor on behalf of your DNO or a heating engineer you hired, either as an individual tradesperson, or as part of a larger company will turn up and get to work.
For a gas meter, new pipework will be needed to tap into the existing pipework before connecting the gas meter box. In the case of an electric meter, it’s essential that the power is turned off before the installation can begin.
Then, the electrician will wire the meter box and install the electric meter. The meter tails will be connected to the meter with the meter itself attached to the cut out.
Once your meter is installed and final checks have been completed, you may wish to have some extra jobs undertaken.
For instance, a gas safety certificate (and the accompanying checks) would cost about £60 to £90 and take around an hour or two.
If you’ve hired an electrician and want some new outdoor lighting, expect to pay about £125 to £200 for an outdoor security light.
Unfortunately, you cannot install a gas or electric meter, unless you’re a qualified professional. There are generally not any specific building regulations or planning permission rules to consider, though it may depend on the job.
Though it’s unlikely, a small number of gas and electric meters are installed incorrectly each year. In fact, 7% of gas meters fitted since 2003 in tests were found to have problems such as being faulty and even due to an incorrect installation.
Of course, ultimately, this is unlikely and with modern smart meters, this is likely to be a less common issue in the future.
In the case that planning permission or building regulations approval is required and your application(s) are rejected, it’s important to focus on the exact reasons.
With this knowledge, you could re-apply with the appropriate changes made to your application(s).
A: If you have a modern, smart gas meter, how to read it will depend on whether it is a metric or imperial meter. Let’s say you have a metric meter.
In this case, to take a gas meter reading, you should read the initial five numbers, going from left to right.
This includes any initial zeros, but after you see a decimal point or space, do not count any zeros. As soon as your meter reaches 99,999, it will return to zero.
If you have an imperial meter, read the initial four numbers present from left to right. Once more, including any zeros that appear at the start but exclude red numbers and any numbers that come after the red number. Once this type of meter reaches 9999, it will then return to zero.
Alternatively, if your home has a dial gas meter, you should start by reading each dial from left to right, but ignoring red dials and the large dial too.
If you notice that the pointer is located between two distinct numbers, take a note of the lowest number. In the case that the pointer is pointing between zero and nine, however, go with nine.
If the pointer is positioned precisely on a given number, write this down and underline. If either of the numbers you’ve taken down come before a nine, minus one from the number which you’ve underlined.
A: If you have a smart electric meter, to read it, first look at the numbers on the meter display, going from left to right.
Make sure you exclude any numbers that come after a space or decimal point or any that are red. Of course, the exact details involved in electric meter reading can vary depending on the specific meter and brand.
A: In general they should last for 10-20 years or more.
A: You should also expect a gas meter to be good for 10-20 years and possibly more.
A: To move an existing meter, the cost will vary depending on how far it needs to be moved.
If it needs to be moved up to 15cm, expect to pay around £70 to £130. However to move it several metres would likely cost £300 to £600.