What are MPRN and MPAN Numbers?
Energy jargon can be a bit overwhelming. Yet whether you’re switching suppliers or moving premises, you need to know your MPAN numbers from your MPRNs, where to find them, and what to do with them. Read on to find out exactly what you need to know about MPRN and MPAN numbers.
Energy providers need a way to identify your specific gas and electricity supply. Although there are key differences between domestic and business energy, in this instance the method is the same for both: your MPRN and MPAN numbers.
It is important to note that these are not the customer account numbers you might have with your gas and electricity suppliers, nor are they the serial numbers found on your meter.
So what is an MPAN number? How does it differ from an MPRN number? And how can you find them if you don’t have a bill to hand? We answer all your questions, and more, below.
What is an MPAN number?
Your MPAN number, or Meter Point Administration Number, is designed to help your energy provider find your specific electricity supply and be sure that it’s connected to the correct property.
Whether it is your business or your home, an MPAN number is unique to the premises, rather than your energy account.
It is a 21-digit number, starting with a capital ‘S’, for ‘supply number’. Different sections of the code will denote different things, such as profile type, line loss factor, distributor ID, and your unique identifier. In this sense, it is similar to how the numbers on a credit card work.
Your MPAN number is usually displayed in a grid format as seen below:
This is what each part of the number represents:
- Profile type: This indicates the type of meter installed at your business premises.
- Meter time-switch code: This gives the supplier more information about what kind of meter you have – for example, a prepayment or smart meter.
- Line loss factor: This is used to work out how much your supplier will pay the electricity network for distribution.
- Distributor ID: This indicates your region and its Distribution Network Operator.
- Meter point ID number: This is the core of your unique identifier and is specific to your property.
- Check digit: This is part of the validation process to confirm all the digits that make up your MPAN number are correct.
The most important part for you as a business energy consumer is the 13-digit ‘unique identifier’ on the bottom row, consisting of the distributor ID, the meter point ID number, and the check digit. If you are asked for your MPAN number, this will usually be the number you need to provide.
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When will I need my MPAN number?
For a business, you will normally need your MPAN number to hand if you are switching energy suppliers, or if you are moving into a new premises. This is so the electricity provider knows it is supplying energy to the correct premises.
So if you switch suppliers but remain in the same premises, your MPAN number will not change. This is because the MPAN number is designed to indicate the premises itself, not your individual business energy account.
How do I find my MPAN number?
If you have a previous business electricity bill at your premises, then you should be able to find your MPAN number on the top left or bottom right hand corner of your bill. Look out for a box similar to the one in the image above.
If you don’t have a business electricity bill at your new premises, however, and cannot obtain one from your landlord or the previous tenant, you will need to contact your energy supplier.
If you do not know your energy supplier, then you will need to find and contact your energy network operator, who can help identify your supplier.
You can find your energy network operator through the Energy Networks Association’s search tool. All you need is your business premises postcode.
What is an MPRN number?
Just as an MPAN number identifies your electricity supply, an MPRN number does the same for your gas. It is similarly unique to your business premises, rather than your business gas account.
It stands for Meter Point Reference Number, and is normally between six and 10 digits long.
For example, it could be displayed as: 1672394562.
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When will I need my MPRN number?
Like with your MPAN number, you will need to provide your MPRN number when you are switching business gas suppliers, or if you move into a new business premises.
And, again, as with your MPAN number, if you switch suppliers but remain at the same premises your MPRN number will not change.
How do I find my MPRN number without a bill?
You should be able to find your MPRN number at the top or the bottom of your business gas bill.
However, there are also ways to find your MPRN number if you do not have an existing gas bill at your new premises, and you cannot get the number from your landlord or the premises’ previous tenant.
You can either use the Find My Supplier online search tool, or call the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524. For both you will need the postcode of the business premises you are trying to find the MPRN number for.
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Image source: Getty Images
Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more