Electricity and gas: meter 11 August 2021 • 5 minutes
Whether it’s your electricity meter or your gas meter, there’s always a chance you might experience a minor fault. Your meter may, for example, start turning too fast (or too slowly!). In any event, it’s a good idea to have it replaced quickly. If you allow the situation to continue, you risk having a nasty surprise when you receive your energy bill! To avoid any inconvenience, find out how to recognise a meter that is not working properly and, if so, what you need to do.
It’s not easy to spot the signs of a faulty meter. After all, you have better things to do than checking that it’s working properly and consistently every day – and that’s quite normal! That’s why we strongly recommend that you take note in the following situations:
You must always pay attention to this kind of situation. Try to work out where this difference comes from: is it sudden or gradual? Have energy prices increased drastically recently? If the increase in your bill has happened suddenly when your rates have remained stable, the problem may come from your meter!
If you have followed our advice to reduce your gas or electricity consumption, you should see a positive impact on your bills. If that is not the case, it may be because your energy prices have increased. But if prices have remained stable, it’s time to have a look at your gas or electricity meter as it may be turning too fast.
Sometimes, you don’t need to wait for a noticeable difference in your bill to be concerned. If you feel that your consumption is higher than usual when your haven’t changed your habits, it may be useful to check that your meter is working normally.
What is meant by “ check your meter”? After all, not everyone is a network operator technician. So it’s better not to dismantle your meter yourself – you may risk making the situation even worse. Fortunately, you can still rely on some external indicators:
Your meter is supposed to be silent. If you hear it making a strange noise, it is probably time to replace it. Call a professional to diagnose the problem.
For an electricity meter, proceed as follows. Watch your meter for a few minutes without switching any lights or electric appliances on or off. If, while you’re watching it, you notice that the numbers on your meter are turning at an unusual or inconsistent speed, you probably have a faulty electricity meter.
For a gas meter, you simply need to turn off your heating and your cooker. If you can still see that your meter is turning, either there is a leak somewhere (in which case, you must notify the fire brigade and your network operator as a matter of urgency), or your meter is definitely faulty.
If everything suggests that your meter is faulty, please contact the distribution network operator (DNO) responsible for your municipality. If you don’t know who your operator is, you can find out via our “Find my DNO” free tool .
Your DNO will then send out a technician to examine the state of your meter. If the malfunction is confirmed, you will have to arrange with the technician to have a new meter installed.
In the meantime, if you have had to pay excessive energy bills, your supplier is required to refund you the excess amount they have billed you due to the meter problem.
Note: check that your excessive energy bill is not due to higher consumption on your part before contacting a technician! If the technician cannot find any fault with your meter, they may charge you a dissuasively high price for the assessment, as Sibelga explains. If, however, they find that your meter is genuinely faulty, you will not be billed for anything, not even for the new meter assigned to you.
In some cases , you may be unable to prove that your meter was faulty during a given billing period. As a result, your supplier may refuse to give you a credit note to correct your consumption. If that happens, the best thing to do is to contact the mediation service (website not available in English) in order to file a complaint. You will then be helped to claim your refund.
Other articles about meters: