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Why are all the electricity suppliers saying ‘no’ to installing a meter?

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Six months ago I bought a house in north Norfolk from a hotel. It had previously been a holiday home and the electricity supply had come via the hotel. Although new separate wiring has been put in place, I can’t get an energy supplier to install a meter.

A neighbour suggested Octopus Energy so I got in contact. Three months later, after endless emails and phone calls, even though it promised it would fit one it then said it could not.

I’m still no nearer having one installed despite trying Ovo Energy, British Gas, NPower and E.ON – all of which said they could do it, but then said they could not.

The “problem” seems to be that because the house is in a rural area, the new smart meters don’t work, although all of my close neighbours have meters. If I was living up the side of a mountain in Africa I could understand it, but north Norfolk? I really am at a loss as to what I can do.
AR, Cromer

This was an unusual case that, frankly, took longer than it should have to resolve. My first thought was that your new home didn’t have the correct wiring – independent of the hotel’s original supply. However, UK Power Networks, which manages the supply infrastructure in your area, soon confirmed that your house has its own, correct, supply.

This meant that the problem was most likely with the address, and the way it had been registered on the system. It seemed highly unlikely that the suppliers couldn’t be bothered to install a meter, as you implied. After all, the rest of us are constantly being badgered to have a smart meter installed.

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I’m still not sure why you kept trying different suppliers, when there had to be a technical reason that was preventing an installation.

Happily, after I contacted E.ON, which was the most recent supplier that you tried, it finally got to the bottom of it.

It has concluded that you need a new meter point administration number, (also known as MPAN which is the unique number for the meter in your property), and has applied for one.

Once that is done, the meter will be installed, and you will no longer have to keep paying the hotel for your electricity as you have had to do so far.

These problems are not unheard of when the supply is changed in this way.

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