Access to my meter as a tenant

(This is my friend’s problem)
My landlord doesn’t allow me to access my electricity meter. I asked and he said: ‘Access to the meter cupboard is restricted for tenant safety due to its location and this will not be changed.’
Do I have a legal right to gain access to my meter?

Thanks!

I don’t suppose you do, but you should ask your landlord (or someone who is ‘authorised’) to take photos of your meter(s) clearly showing the serial number and read(s), so you can be clear on your consumption and costs.

Also the energy supplier can take legal steps to access the meter if they so choose on safety grounds, although most do not for Elec but do for Gas due to explosion or leak risk, but even that’s 2,3,4 years between inspections

For gas meters, your friend has to be provided with a key for health and safety reasons:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/1886/regulation/13/made

For electricity meters I suspect there is not considered to be the same H&S issue but this seems to suggest they should also be provided with access:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/reasonable_access_for_customers

I suspect it’s less a concern of safety and more one of tenants being able to fiddle with other tenants’ supplies. In the last shared building I lived in, the meters were in the basement which also housed all of the mains isolation switches and the TV distribution amplifier (there was no gas).

If you had a beef with another tenant, there was little stopping you from disconnecting their TV supply or flicking off the electric at inconvenient times.

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Hi @TomGB I think the discussion covers it pretty well.

The gas meter is more a safety concern than the electricity and from our perspective, we may need to have the facility to arrange a meter appointment but that can always be arranged with the landlord in advance.

In terms of taking meter reads, there are a lot of people that have this set-up, I would advise on getting a good relationship with the landlord going and ask them to take meter reads for you every couple of months, that will leave your account in an absolutely fine position!

I live in a retirement block where we do not have keys to the meter (electricity). I want to change to Bulb but will not be able to send monthly readings as they are taken by a meter reader who has the keys to the locked cupboard.

I live in a retirement block where we do not have keys to the meter (electricity). I want to change to Bulb but will not be able to send monthly readings as they are taken by a meter reader who has the keys to the locked cupboard.
Monthly readings are not absolutely necessary, you just need to send them periodically (at least every 3 months).

You will need to be able to get readings within a 5 day window during your switch but I’m sure you would be able to request this from the building manager.

I live in a flat in an old property where all the meters are in the cellar. The landlord has they key to the cellar and we can access this key in an emergency from a keysafe. In addition, we can isolate our gas and electricity from within each flat.
Whilst the regulations above are clear, they seem to take no account of recent smart meter rollouts or the GDPR aspects of being able to access other tenant’s meters. I can get a meter reading on application to the landlord but I advise a smart meter which gets around all reading issues.

@Natparktenant Welcome to our Bulb community!

That’s a great point - having a smart meter eliminates the requirement for manual readings to be submitted. Just bear in mind that some landlords may not allow a smart meter installation, depending on your tenancy agreement. Make sure this is cleared with them before booking an installation.

As a separate point, the In-Home Display (IHD) that comes with the smart meter is the little screen that shows your usage data. This would be kept in the flat, as opposed to the meter cupboard.
Sometimes if a smart meter is installed in a communal meter cupboard that’s quite a distance from a flat, the IHD won’t show usage as it’s too far from the electricity meter to be able to connect. Just something to bear in mind. You would still be able to see your daily usage data in your online Bulb account/app instead.