Number explained

MPANs and MPRNs for gas and electricity

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an energy saving lightbulb on top of an energy bill showing the MPAN number

Energy bills can be confusing. Understanding all the numbers and codes that appear on your business energy or domestic energy bills may be difficult – and if you’re not sure what certain information refers to, you might run into problems if you’re moving to a new property or switching to a different supplier. Two numbers that you may need to be aware of are your MPAN and MPRN. If you don’t know what these numbers are or where you can find them, keep reading. This guide should tell you everything you need to know about this topic.

Man checking gas meter for MPRN

What is an MPAN number?

MPAN stands for Meter Point Administration Number. This is the unique number used to identify your individual electricity supply point. It’s also sometimes called an Electricity Supply Number, or simply an ‘S number’. Both domestic and business electricity users have an MPAN.

Usually a 21-digit number starting with the letter ‘S’, it is displayed in a grid format and often appears in a box marked ‘Supply Number’. Although it is 21 digits in total, you’ll typically only need to refer to and use the last 13 digits. It’s important to be aware that your electricity MPAN number is not the same as your customer account number.

You might be asked for your MPAN if you’re moving to a new property or changing electricity supplier. As the number is linked to your property, if you switch supplier but stay at the same address, your MPAN will remain the same. It’s only if you relocate to a different property that this number will change.

What does a MPAN number look like?

As mentioned previously, a MPAN is a 21-digit number, typically beginning with an ‘S’. While it’s important to recognise what this number is (and where to find it), you don’t have to know what all the individual components stand for. However, in case you’re curious, here’s what the sequence of digits refers to:

Profile class – The two numbers that appear immediately after the ‘S’ are a reference to your property’s profile class and they provide your energy supplier with an indication of your property’s typical consumption of electricity over a 24-hour period. For example, homes are either in profile class 01 or 02, while businesses have profile classes of between 03 and 08. Class 00 is used for properties that have a half-hourly meter installed. This generally applies to larger businesses that have a high energy demand.

Meter Time Switch Code – The next three digits refer to the number of registers your electricity meter has. This could either be sets of meter numbers or dials.

Line Loss Factor – The remaining three digits on the top line of your MPAN indicate the expected costs that the distribution company will charge your energy supplier in order to use the cables and networks in your area. It also reveals to your supplier the possible charges incurred due to a loss of energy while getting electricity to your property.

Distributor ID – On the bottom line of the MPAN, the first two digits signify the regional distribution company responsible for your energy supply. This is the company that manages the wires that deliver power to your property. So, if you would like to know which company operates the network in your area, this sequence of numbers can help you determine this.

Meter Point ID – The next eight numbers are unique within the distribution area and they are used to identify the metering point.

Check Digit – The last three numbers are based on the Meter Point ID and Distributor ID numbers and they provide a way of verifying both of these numbers.

The 13 numbers on the bottom row (the Distributor ID, Meter Point ID and Check Digit) are sometimes referred to as the ‘unique identifier’ and they are the numbers used to identify the exit point. If your energy supplier asks you for your MPAN, they may only want you to provide this unique identifier – rather than the full sequence of 21 digits.

Energy saving lightbulb

What is the MPAN number on an electricity bill?

Your MPAN will be included in your electricity bills. It might be referred to in the document as a ‘supply number’, and often it appears at the bottom of the first page of the bill or on the reverse of this page. However, its position on your bill will depend on your specific supplier.

As outlined above, your MPAN is not the same as the customer reference number or account number that will also appear on your bill. It is these two numbers that you generally need to refer to when you are communicating with your supplier.

Where to find the MPAN number

Your MPAN is not displayed on your meter box. The easiest way to get this information is to refer to an electricity or combined energy bill. It should be clearly displayed in these documents.

However, whether you’ve mislaid or lost previous bills or you’ve just moved into a new property and are yet to receive a bill, there may be occasions when you can’t get your MPAN in this way. Fortunately, this is an alternative.


How do I find my MPAN number without a bill?

If you can’t access a previous bill, another way to discover your MPAN is by getting in touch with your local distribution network operator (DNO). Don’t worry if you’re not sure who the operator is in your area. This information is readily available online. For example, the Energy Networks Association provides a full list of DNOs for the country, along with phone numbers. You can also contact Citizens Advice to get hold of this information. You’ll simply need to provide the organisation with your postcode and address. It will then identify your DNO based on this.

Once you have the contact information for your DNO, you can ask this operator for your MPAN number.


What is an MPRN number?

A unique identifying number for your gas supply, a Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) is the equivalent of a MPAN for domestic and business gas users. Just like an MPAN, it is individual to your property and it doesn’t change if you switch to a new energy supplier. Sometimes referred to as an ‘M number’, it is shorter and simpler than a MPAN.

Typically, MPRNs are made up of six to 10 digits – all numbers with no letters. It’s important to be aware that your MPRN is not the same as your customer account number. It is usually the latter that you need when dealing with your gas supplier. However, you may need to refer to your MPRN if you’re moving to a new home or business premises, or you’re changing your gas supplier.


Where to find an MPRN number

Unlike MPANs, these numbers are sometimes stamped on meters, so you may be able to find yours by checking your gas meter. The information is also provided in your gas bills. It’s usually printed at the top or bottom of bills, but exactly where it appears will depend on your energy supplier.

If you can’t find the information on your meter and you don’t have a previous gas or combined energy bill, you can search for your gas MPRN number online by visiting the Find My Supplier website and entering your postcode and address.


The importance of keeping your billing information to hand

Whether you receive energy bills from your supplier through the post or online, it’s important to keep this information safe and to make sure it’s accessible when you need it. There are a variety of reasons why you may have to refer to information contained within your bills, including your MPAN and MPRN. Knowing where to find these details can make your life easier and ensure that tasks such as switching energy suppliers are as quick and straightforward as possible.

Keeping your billing information to hand will also make it easier for you to monitor how much you’re spending on gas and electricity – and potentially to find ways to reduce these costs.

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