Electrical Question

New consumer unit/meter & moving them

I have bought a place which has not been used in about 15 years. The electrics run from the street into the basement where the consumer unit and meter are. These are both extremely old, probably from the 1970's. I have spoke to EDF who will be installing a new meter. But do I need a new consumer unit installed first? (given how old it is).

Also, I was hoping to move the consumer unit and meter from the basement to the ground floor hallway - is this a big job? I spoke to the UK Power Network and they want to pull the supply back out from the basement, then go from the street to the hallway - is this really necessary? I was hoping an electrican would be able to do it?

Furthermore, I need an electric certificate for the meter to be installed. How long does this take? And what order should I arrange for all the above. I keep trying to speak to EDF about it, but they keep passing me around departments and I'm not really getting anywhere!

5 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Hayley, firstly can I take that your in the London/South east area? - I am assuming this based on the fact that this is where UK Power Networks are the Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

If the house has been off supply for sometime, then its normal for EDF or any supplier for that matter to ask for an electrical certificate (normally an Electrical Installation Condition Report), before they will re-connect or alter the supply, move the meter etc. As a guide, an EICR takes about 2 to 3 hours to do on site and costs about £90.

Its worth having a look at the Electricity Safety Council website as they have some good leaflets on this e.g.;


I would recommend an EICR before you plunge straight into changing the consumer unit as there maybe other issues with the wiring that also need to be addressed and it would be eaiser to do all the work in one go, as it would most likely save you time and money.

With regard to moving the consumer unit and creating a new position for the meter in the hall, then yes this is entirely possible and could be done without the expensive re-routing of the incoming main UKPN cable.

To do this you would need what is known as a "Rising main" installed from the basement position to the new hall position. Any decent NICEIC registered electrician should be able to quote to do this work for you. In addition you would also need the cables to the existing consumer unit re-routed and exteneded or rewired as appropiate (e.g. if too short). You can get an idea of costs by posting a job on the website, but a site visit would be needed to price the job accurately.

Hope this helps and if I can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact me.

Regards Jason (ESS)

Answered 12th Apr 2012

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

your best bet is to contact an electricain like me who can come over give you advise on how and when and how much to move your board etc
As for the board being moved this could be done,like I did recently on a job via a sub main cable and leave meter where it is (much cheaper than edf)
Let me know if you need any further advise

Answered 12th Apr 2012


Member since 8 Oct 2008

Withn regards to moving your supply this is within the control of your electricity supplier . Electricians work from the main fuse inwards as a rule. If you move your consumer unit from the basement to the hallway without relocating your supply the length of cable for your meter tails to your consumer unit will become an issue.
Your existing consumer unit may be old but not necessarily unservicable any registered electrician can test your wiring cicuits and advise. And issue you with a certificate within a couple of days at the most. once tested EDF can install a new meter.You need to ensure your electrician is registered with one of the Part P schemes Elecsa , NAPIT, NECEIC etc.

Answered 12th Apr 2012

SJ electricians

Member since 11 Apr 2012

Only the electrical supplier can move the meter and the supply cable. It sounds like edf want you to get your consumer unit changed before they will do the work you will get an electrical installtion certificate from the electrician who does this you should get the paperwork within a day or two of the job finishing

Answered 12th Apr 2012

North Electrics Ltd

Member since 23 Sep 2011

As soon as the consumer unit is disconnected and then is to be re-instated in a different position, it then comes under the 17th edition regulations. Thus all of the circuits in the property must be rcd protected if they are buried in the wall less than 50mm from the surface or have an earthed metallic protective cover (both of which are highly unlikely).
Given the age of the property, i would definately suggest an EICR should be carried out prior to changing the consumer unit, just in case it needs any re-wiring!
As for moving the consumer unit, this in itself isnt a massive job, but if the meter is to be moved from the supply cut-out..... this is a whole new can of worms.
If the distance from the cut-out to the new meter is over 2mtrs, then a switched fuse must be installed to protect the meter tails (cables from the cut-out to the meter), if the new tails are concealed anywhere along their length, they must be protected by a double pole 100mA rcd. It might be a better option to have the incoming supply cable re-routed by the supply company.
If im not mistaken, the supply company would usually send you out a load form to fill in which allows them to determine what size of supply and meter to provide.
An electrical installation certificate cannot be issued unless there is a verified supply at the property, and the live testing, including the testing of the incoming supply and earthing facility has been verified and the results comply with those documented in the IEE Wiring Regulations BS7671 17th edition.
I've tried to keep this answer in lay-mans terms to try not to baffle you with quoted regulations....... i hope this helps....please dont hesistate to contact me via the site, should you require any further help,

kind regards , John JDT Electrical Services

Answered 13th Apr 2012

JDT Electrical Services

Member since 11 Apr 2012

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