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What is a Meter Serial Number (MSN) and why is it important?

Disclaimer: The information on this page was correct as of August 20, 2021.

A Meter Serial Number (MSN) is a number you’ve probably never had to supply or think about, so you might not even know it exists. However, it’s a number you should check against your bills or a lot of problems could arise in the future. Don’t worry, though, let’s find out more about your MSN together!

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What is an MSN?

A Meter Serial Number (MSN) is a set of numbers and letters unique to your gas or electricity meter. Each individual meter has its MSN included on a national database which is used by your energy provider to make sure they’re billing your address correctly. Your MSN will be on the front of your meter and also on your bill.

What’s the difference between an MSN and an MPAN/MPRN?

A meter serial number (MSN) is different from an MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) or an MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number). An MSN refers to the meter, while MPAN and MPRN refer to the supply location. If your meter is changed, your MSN will also change, but your MPAN or MPRN will stay the same.

Why do I need an MSN?

It’s not likely that you’ll need to know your MSN off the top of your head, however, it’s still helpful to know where you can find it, just in case. You might need it if:

  • You’re switching energy providers – If you can’t find your MPAN or MPRN, your new provider can use your MSN to locate your home.
  • You’re moving house – If you’re moving house, make sure that the MSN on your meter matches the one on your bill. If you’re paying for the wrong meter, you could end up paying more or less than you’re using.
  • You’re upgrading or replacing your meter – Your new meter will have a different meter serial number to your old meter. Check your next bill has the new MSN to make sure you’re billed correctly.
  • Your address has changed – This is rare, however, if a lot more houses are being built in one area, your postcode might have changed. If this happens to you, your MSN could then be tied to a different address and you might be paying for someone else’s energy.

Where can I find my MSN?

The easiest way to find your MSN is by looking at a recent energy bill. You can generally find it under the ‘meter readings’ section. If you can’t find your meter serial number on your bill, it will be on the front of your meter.

Call us to find out your supply numbers

Give us a quick call and we can give you your MSN, MPAN & MPRN in seconds. We can also help you with any other query you may have about your energy supply!

Finding your gas meter serial number

If you have a newer gas meter, there should be a barcode on the front. Near this barcode, there will be a combination of letters and numbers which come together to make your gas meter serial number.

If you have an older gas meter without a barcode, your gas meter serial number will be in a prominent place on the front of your meter. It will usually be stamped in red.

On a traditional meter, your MSN will usually start with an L and end with an M while your smart meter’s MSN should start with G4P. Any gas meter serial number tends to be longer than an electric meter serial number.

Finding your electric meter serial number

On your modern electricity meter, you can find your electricity meter serial number near the barcode on the front of the meter. It will be made up of several numbers and letters, indicating the manufacturer, the year it was made, and a short sequence unique to you.

If you have an older meter, you might not have a barcode on the front of the meter, however, you can still find your electric meter serial number printed somewhere on the front. It might be on a sticker, printed directly on the meter, or engraved in.

Most electricity meter serial numbers will start with the letter F and will be a lot shorter than the MSN on your gas meter. If you have a smart meter, it might begin with either 14P or 15P.

If you still can’t find your gas or electricity serial number, contact your supplier and they should be able to find it on the meter serial number national database and tell you what it is.

The MSN on my bill doesn’t match my meter

Matching Meter Serial Numbers makes sure that you’re being billed correctly. If your serial numbers on your meter and your bill are different, you could be paying for a different customer’s energy use.

If you’ve changed your meter and the MSN hasn’t been changed on your bill, you should contact your energy supplier to make sure it’s put right. While you won’t be paying for someone else’s energy use, different problems might arise in the future when it comes to paying bills or switching providers.

If you need some more help...

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This page was written by...

Polly Tyler

I've loved writing since I was a child and have worked on a number of different projects since I left school, including journalism, copywriting, and marketing. Utilty Switchboard has given me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and experience and I've loved every minute!

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