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SHM Metering- SHM Metering - The 2006 Measuring Instruments Directive (MID)

2006 Measuring Instruments Directive - MID - Meters - Landlord Obligations - Billing

What is MID?

The Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) was introduced by the European Commission to promote free trade of measuring instruments throughout Europe. The European Directive 2004/22/EC came into force throughout the EU on 30/10/06. The purpose of the directive is to create a single market in measuring instruments for the benefit of manufacturers and consumers across Europe. Approval to MID is required for meters used in any fiduciary (i.e. billing) application. National rules that deviate from MID are not allowed. With the MID European Type Approval Certificate, an instrument may be freely sold and used in any European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). Instruments must meet the general essential requirements of the directive, plus one of ten instrument-specific annexes. For electricity meters, this is MI-003 (Active Electrical Energy Meters).

Billing Applications

Prior to MID, meters were approved under UK National legislation and statutory responsibility for the Electricity Act 1989 was held by OFGEM. From 2009, responsibility for legal metrology and implementation of MID and its dependent UK regulations passed to the National Measurement Office (NMO) in Teddington. The Electricity Act remains in force, but the MID requirements are implemented by a new Statutory Instrument (SI). The SI published in 2006 is the Measuring Instruments (Active Electrical Energy Meters) Regulations SI2006/1679 and details the requirements for MID approval.

The word ‘approval’ now includes meters fulfilling the requirements of MID regulations by a Notified Body (i.e. a testing laboratory); this body need not be a UK organisation. The Electricity Act 1989 is still in force in the UK and directly legislates for those meters approved prior to October 2006. Meters that meet the requirements of 512006/1679 are deemed to be ‘approved’ in accordance with the Electricity Act 1989 and for MID approved meters, the 2006 Statutory Instrument applies. Approval now means approval as to both design and individual testing at manufacture according to the MID 2004/22/EC directive instrument specific annexes. For electrical energy meters, this is Annex MI-003.

Meters manufactured under pre-MID UK legislation may still be used and even continue to be installed. Under these regulations it is possible to install meters for commercial billing which are approved, but not individually certified for accuracy, provided there is an agreement between supplier and consumer. From 2016, all new meters installed for billing purposes must be MID approved. Meter manufacturers are now ensuring that any current designs of meters which have only UK approval are being submitted for approval under MID, so as to increase the market for and the longevity of their products. MID approved meters may be sold and used throughout the whole EU, irrespective of their country of origin.

Certification: Certification under UK National legislation refers to individual testing of a meter manufactured with an Approved Pattern of Design. Exemption from certification only applies to meters approved under UK National legislation. MID does not recognise Certification as a separate process. Meters are either MID approved or they are not.

Approval: MID meters can only have approved status and approval refers to design, followed by individual testing at manufacture. Certification is not a recognised term under MID. Meters must have approval according to Annex B+ Annex D, Annex B+ Annex F or Annex H1. All MID approved meters MUST carry the full MID marking and it is having this full marking which denotes whether a meter is MID approved or not.

Meters covered by MID

If you are a residential, commercial, industrial landlord or property manager in any of the following situations, you must employ an MID approved meter or a UK National approved meter (which will have been approved prior to October 2006). However, if the latter type of meter is already installed, so long as it is measuring accurately, you may continue to use it indefinitely. Since any new billing-approved meter is almost certain to carry MID approval, for new electricity supplies it is best to fit MID approved billing meters. From October 2016, only MID approved meters can be fitted. These are a few of the sub-billing applications commonly encountered:

  • Multi-use commercial building
  • Industrial estates
  • Sub-let shops or concessions
  • Residential flats
  • Marinas
  • Caravan parks
  • Data centre server supplies
  • Sports facilities
  • Any charging of electricity by meter reading

For these supplies, any meter fitted after October 2016 MUST be MID approved. Any meter approved solely under UK National legislation CANNOT be installed for use after October 2016. From October 2016, the only legal option for newly metered supplies is to fit an MID meter.

The use of unapproved meters does not meet the requirements of the Electricity Act 1989. To bill electricity with a non-approved meter is a breach of the 1989 Act and is classified as a criminal offence. On conviction, the person committing the offence is liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. This fine is currently set at £1000 per each offending meter, so for a multiple meter site, the fine will be substantial.

Landlord Obligations

Landlords, estate managers and property developers should check that they have legally acceptable meters fitted throughout their premises. The use of unapproved meters for billing carries the risk of prosecution. A tenant is within his rights to refuse payment if his electricity bill is based on readings from a non-approved meter. In SHM's experience we have found that around 90% of meters presently fitted in commercial buildings are not approved for billing. SHM will be pleased to undertake a survey of all installed meters within a building or estate to determine whether or not the meters comply with current legislation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can MID meters be used for supplies over 100kW?

A. In the UK, MD meters are only able to be used as Primary meters for sites not exceeding 100kW. Above 100kW, meters must be approved under UK National legislation because Code of Practice 5 (COP5) meters must be used for settlement in the half-hourly market. As Secondary meters (sub-meters) installed after the Primary supply meter, MID meters can be used for any internal supply above or below 100kW.

Q. Can I use a panel-mount meter for billing?

A. Yes. 96mm x 96mm and 72mm x 72mm MID approved panel mount meters are now readily available. As long as the meter is an approved billing meter, it is immaterial whether it is wall mounting or surface panel mounting. There are very few 96mm x 96mm panel mount meters approved under UK National regulations and these are highly specialist and expensive. Any panel meter used henceforward for billing or sub-billing should sensibly be specified to be an MID approved meter.

Q. Can a DIN rail meter be used for billing?

A. Yes. There are several panel-mount meters which have MID approval. There are no DIN rail meters which were approved for metering under the old pre-2006 regulations. So any DIN rail meter used for billing must be an MID approved meter.

Q. Can I use meters with just Annex B for billing?

A. No. Annex B is a design acceptance and the meter has not therefore completed the full MID approval process. A meter cannot be used for billing until it has completed the full conformity process and carries the B+D or B+F approval and is clearly identified by the use of the full MID approval mark.

Q. Why do manufacturers sell meters that are only Annex B?

A. A manufacturer may design and produce a meter to the specification standard and requirements of MID, but may decide not to complete the full approval process. This meter cannot be used for billing. MID Annex B is a procedure that ensures meter accuracy and quality. It allows the manufacturer, should he so chose, to complete the full MID approval process at a later stage.

Q. What about the billing system, does it need to be MID approved?

A. No, only the meter itself is subject to MID. The data collection system, whether it is manual reading, remote reading via data loggers, BMS, EMS software or any other means is not covered. If there is a dispute over the accuracy of a meter, it is important to emphasise that the meter register remains the ‘prima facie’ evidence for consumption and a data logger or other item of equipment or software has no influence whatsoever over a dispute decision.

Q. Are current transformers covered by MID?

A. No, only the meter itself is covered by MID. Good practice requires that current transformers should have accuracy consistent with the meter and the load to which they are connected. The 1989 Electricity Act states only that the CT and the meter are to be installed in an approved manner. MID makes reference to instrument transformers (CTs), but does not cover any aspect of their performance or accuracy.

Q. I am billing people only for a small amount of electricity on a caravan site, can I use low cost non-approved meters?

A. No, all meters used for billing at ANY level of consumption must be approved.

Q. Are there MID meters with current and voltage indication?

A. Yes, SHM supplies MID approved kWh meters that have full, multi-function capability, including Harmonic Distortion if required.

Q. Do I need to replace meters approved under UK National legislation?

A. No. Meters approved under UK National legislation can be used up to the end of their certification life. The initial certification period may be 10, 15 or 20 years, but may be extended for as long as the meter continues to meet the stipulated accuracy requirements. Any replacement meter installed after October 2016 must be MID approved. If meters approved under UK National legislation are installed prior to October 2016, they can remain ‘on the wall' indefinitely, as long as they are accurate.

Q. I am specifying meters under Part I of the Building Regulations to be used only for energy management purposes, do I need MID Approved meters?

A. It is not necessary to install MID approved meters for purely monitoring purposes, but if it is likely that in future they may be used for billing, it is wise to specify MID approved meters throughout.

The above is an excerpt from the SHM “Guide to the MID”.
A full copy can be obtained FREE OF CHARGE
by contacting SHM below.

Click the PDF image to view the technical information in full


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