Meter Serial Number (MSN): What Is It and Why Is It Important?
The Meter Serial Number (MSN) is an important part of every electricity and gas meter, but it's likely that you've never come across it before. However, your MSN is a very useful number to find so double-check that your paying for the right energy bill and for your energy usage. Read on to find out more about your MSN and how to find it.
What Is a Meter Serial Number?
Your Meter Serial Number - also known as a Meter ID or MSN - is a unique set of numbers and letters, or occasionally just numbers, that identifies your electricity or gas meter. Suppliers use this number to correctly charge you for your energy consumption.
Why Do I Need To Know My Meter Serial Number?
There are several situations where you may need to know your electricity or gas Meter Serial Number:
- Switching energy providers - if you are unable to find your MPAN or MPRN number, your new supplier will often use your Meter Serial Number to help locate your home or business premises.
- Moving home or business premises - when moving into a new property, you should check to make sure that the Meter Serial Number on your energy bills corresponds to the number on your actual meter. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t, your bills may be inaccurate and you could be charged for more or less energy than you have actually used.
- Upgrading or replacing your meter - if, for some reason, you need to replace your meter, you should always note down the new Meter Serial Number. Because this number relates to a specific physical meter, the Meter Serial Number will be different from the one on your previous meter.
- Change of address - although a relatively rare occurrence, the address and postcode of properties can sometimes be changed, for example, if a new development is built and the postal service decides to recode or issue new postcodes to avoid oversubscription. If this happens to your home, your Meter Serial Number could be associated with a different address, which may lead to inaccurate billing. If this happens to you, you should contact your energy supplier with your Meter Serial Number as soon as possible.
MSN and MPAN/MPRN: What's the Difference? You shouldn’t confuse your Meter Serial Number with your supply point numbers, which are also known as MPAN for electricity and MPRN for gas. Your supply point number refers to the meter’s location, rather than the meter itself. If your meter is replaced, like if you move from prepayment to direct debit, its serial number will change, while its MPAN or MPRN always stays the same. These serial numbers can be found on both credit and prepayment meters.
What Does a Meter Serial Number Look Like?
Above is an example of what a Meter Serial Number looks like on an electric meter. This combination of letters and numbers is either stamped, engraved or on a sticker on the face of your meter.
On most electricity meters, the Meter Serial Number will begin with the letter ‘F’. The Meter Serial Number is usually longer on a gas meter, starting with ‘L’ and ending with ‘M’.
Where Can I Find My Meter Serial Number?
You’ll find your Meter Serial Number on both your paper energy bills and the physical energy meter itself.
MSN on Your Energy Bill
One of the quickest ways to find your electricity and gas Meter Serial Numbers is by taking a glance at a recent energy bill. Most suppliers will list the Meter Serial Number either at the top or bottom of the bill, usually under the ‘Meter Readings’ section.
You’ll find your gas Meter Serial Number on your gas bill, while your electricity Meter Serial Number is listed on your electricity bill. Sometimes your Meter Serial Number will be referred to on your bill as ‘Meter Number’, ‘Meter ID’ or ‘MSN’.
Meter Serial Number on Your Meter
If you can’t locate your Meter Serial Number on your bill, you should be able to find it on the meter itself, either stamped, engraved or on a sticker.
How To Find Your Electricity MSN
On the majority of modern meters, your electricity Meter Serial Number should be located above or below the barcode.
On some older meter models, there may not be a barcode. However, you should still find the Meter Serial Number in a prominent position in the same format.
On most electricity meters, the Meter Serial Number will begin with the letter ‘F’.
If you have a smart meter installed, your Meter Serial Number should be found next to a barcode on the front of the meter box. On electricity smart meters, the Meter Serial Number will begin with either ‘14P’ or ‘15P’.
How To Find Your Gas MSN
On newer gas meters, you’ll find the Meter Serial Number located, again, above or below the barcode on the face of the meter.
For older gas meters without a barcode, the Meter Serial Number may be printed in red and located on the front.
Your gas Meter Serial number will usually be longer than the MSN on your electricity meter. This combination of letters and numbers typically starts with an ‘L’ and ends with ‘M’.
For customers on a smart meter, your gas Meter Serial Number can be found by the barcode on the front of the meter and will start with ‘G4P’.
My Meter Serial Number Doesn't Match My Meter
You should always check to make sure your Meter Serial Number matches the one on your bill. This is important since if the MSN appears differently, it could mean your are being charged for someone else usage. This is especially important if you are using a smart meter since the meter readings will be sent automatically to the energy company.
If you notice that the Meter Serial Number is different, you should contact your energy company right away to correct it.