Your Meter Point Reference Number, or MPRN relates to your property’s gas supply. It is a unique number that will identify the supply point of your home or businesses gas system. Energy suppliers use the MPRN to make sure that they have identified the correct property during a switch or for any maintenance works. Every property in the UK that has a gas supply, will also have an associated MPRN.
The MPRN is the gas equivalent of the MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) which identifies the entrance point of your electrical supply. As with the MPAN, the MPRN number is not the same as your individual gas meter (or number of meters, if you have more than one) serial number. Your gas meter should have its own serial number printed on it and that number only applies to that individual meter. Should you need a new gas meter due to an upgrade or if yours becomes defective, you will get a new gas meter with a totally different serial number. The MPRN however, will remain the same. This is because it essentially marks the line between the end of the gas supplier’s pipeline and the beginning of the property’s equipment.
As with the electrical system equivalent, the MPAN, your MPRN was created to improve competition in the gas market. In place since 1998, the ability for gas suppliers to quickly and efficiently identify a property in relation to its place on the gas network has brought significant advantages. Not least is the ability to switch suppliers quickly and without the need for endless paperwork. The internet has helped dramatically with this and now many households and businesses are able to regularly shop around for better energy deals.
Where can I find my MPRN?
The easiest place to find your MPAN is on your gas bill. It doesn’t matter if you receive your bill through the post or online, your MPRN will be on there. This may not always be easy to find and can often be found amongst the small print. You are looking for a 6-10 digit number, usually underneath text to the effect of ‘Meter Reference number’ or ‘M’.
Unless you have a very new meter, it is unlikely that the MPRN will be available from your meter. This is an important point, as you should be able to see your Meter Serial Number (MSN) printed or embossed on or around a barcode at the front of your meter.
If you do not have access to any previous bills for your address, you can contact your current supplier who will be able to help you. Citizens Advice are also able to provide your MPRN as long as you know your address and postcode.
Why might I need my MPRN?
With each MPRN being individual to each property, this number is invaluable in ensuring that the correct address receives an accurate bill. If you are switching gas suppliers and the new company is having an issue in finding your details on the national database, providing this number can pinpoint them to your location. An accurate MPRN will help to prevent inaccurate bills and is an important part of the switching progress.
If you are looking at your bills and the amount of energy you’re using seems to be significantly different to what you were expecting, it could be worth checking that your gas supplier has your correct MPRN. If not, you there’s a risk of your bill being for somebody else’s gas consumption.
In most cases you shouldn’t need to provide your MPRN or MPAN (the electrical supply equivalent). There is a national database in existence that is available to energy suppliers and used to make sure that the correct address is supplied by or switched to the correct gas company. As the internet became more commonly used, this national database became more efficient and because of this, a customer needing to supply the MPRN is the exception rather than the rule.
If you have checked your MPRN (this applies equally to your MPAN) and found that it begins with a 74, or a 75 then it is well worth understanding what this means. Either of these numbers indicates that the property has been supplied and piped in by an independent gas transporter. Some energy companies will charge a higher rate for gas supply through these systems. This is in part down to the higher cost of insurance against a non-national network pipeline but certainly worth considering when looking to switch energy suppliers.