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What is an MPAN/MPRN?

This is a guest post from First Utility.


In 1998 the UK introduced the Competition Act. This provided an outline against the abuse of dominant market positions by large corporations. This act helped to offer a more competitive market for electricity and gas suppliers. Now consumers can get competitive pricing on gas and electricity not just from the larger corporations but from new and smaller competitors in the energy sector.  To make referencing the electrical and gas supply units clearer so it’s easy to switch they were assigned with unique identifying numbers. Electrical meters are assigned a number that is called the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). Gas meters are given Meter Point Reference Numbers (MPRN). These numbers help customers change their services easily and reduce administration tasks.

To understand the MPAN number look at the two rows of numbers in an outlined box. There is a large S in the box that precedes two rows of MPAN numbers. The core numbers, located on the bottom row, are thirteen numbers that are identifiers. The supplementary data, located on the top row, are eight numbers that are broken up in parts to give the details of the meter supply. This supplementary information is exclusive to the supplier. The information is required to be listed on electricity bills that are sent to the customer. To look for the MPAN numbers search the bill to find the box of numbers, sometimes they are small print.

The first two numbers on the top row are called the profile class and these numbers show the type of usage for the meter. Domestic NHH, or non-half hour, usage profile numbers will always be a 01 or 02. Non-Domestic HH, or half hour, usage profile numbers will 03 through 08. The second set of three numbers is called the meter switch time code. This code represents the registers the meter may read. The third set of numbers is the line loss factor class. This group of numbers tells the distribution company the costs that are being charged to the supplier to use the network in a particular region and for using the cables.

The first two digit number on the bottom row identifies the distribution company. This company is responsible for the cables that deliver electricity to the meter. The next group of numbers is called the meter point ID number. This number is the reference number for the meter at the customer’s property. The last group of three digits is called the check digit. This number validates the previous twelve core digits and is figured using an algorithm calculation.

The number that is allocated to gas meters is the MPRN and has up to ten identifying numbers in one long string. There are two kinds of gas meters for domestic homes, credit and prepayment meters. The credit meter records the amount of gas used, and a bill is sent to the customer. The MPRN search is easily done, look for the MPRN number by searching the top and bottom of the bill.

When customers decide to change suppliers for service, they must have their MPAN and MPRN numbers ready. This allows a smooth transition when switching service.

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About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. I work for an energy company in the U.S., and it's interesting to me to learn that in the U.K., apparently anyone can opt away from utility service.  A lot of U.S. states have some amount of open utility service, but it's mostly just for commercial and industrial customers.  For example, in California (where I live), I (a residential customer) have to purchase utility service from the utility (in my case SDG&E); my only other option would be to buy my own generator and fall off the grid (which would be ridiculous for me as I live in a condo complex, but I think relying on a person's own generator is a viable option for some people, though it would take a while for the cost of the generator to end up being a better money-saving option than just paying gas and electric bills).  I know Texas offers choice for residential customers, but I'm not sure for other states.

    Anyways, this post was interesting and informative to me.

    • Glad you found some value! I can't imagine having any kind of choice about utilities. Where I live, there is ONE electric company and ONE gas company. I've read about companies that offer different options like smart meters and different pricing during off-peak hours, but none of those are available in my area. 

      I'd love to see some competition among utility providers. Right now there isn't much incentive for the companies to be customer-friendly because they know you don't have any other choice.

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