Asked on Jul 28, 2018

How can i cover/hide this electric meter?

by Nancy

This unsightly electric meter is located on the wall on our deck where we entertain. I have looked everywhere for realistic ideas but have found nothing that works for us. Would like something rustic that would work well with an outdoor kitchen.

Thank you

  14 answers
  • Gary B Gary B on Jul 28, 2018

    I've seen lattice with the meter cut out, vines covering the lattice, looked great

  • Carol Thomas Carol Thomas on Jul 28, 2018

    If you go to Pinterest and type in "hide electric meter on house" in the search box, you will see some of the most incredible ideas people have come up with! I was blown away at the creativity and I hope you find one you like.

  • Nancy Nancy on Jul 28, 2018

    Carol, thank you for your suggestion but I have looked on Pinterest as well doing a web search but did not find anything that would fit the look i am going for. I was hoping to find some fresh ideas here in Hometalk

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 28, 2018

    Best check with your electric company, first. Some prohibit hiding the meter in any fashion. They may provide you with options.

    • Dwp7470b Dwp7470b on Aug 25, 2018

      Agreed. I as an electrician in PA have seen many bungled attempts to 'hide the meter' and really: in PA this always turns sour by a need for PPL to 'come out and inspect the box for damages, and verify scope', so basically dependent on State this home is placed, anything they mess up be that accidental or not, may or may not be reperable without an attorney and/or patrolman and/or fire chief present. Even in my courseworks we were informed: Once the meter even looks semi-modified, you MUST call the Authorities before you even lift a screwdriver the place. Once that occurs, that authorities involve, All I can say is: Good luck finding any electrician who brings along 3 attorneys with forms to the worksite rather than 1 apprentice with his own tools. So, agreed:

      Any Modification to any meter box anywhere must/should be:

      A. Available at Retail as: Preapproved by Authorities

      B. Available Directly from Authorities or the Energy Supplier

      C. Approved by the Code Officer if it is Neither A nor B.


      D. Not a hindrance according to Homeowner's and Fire Insurance.

      Because if it ain't D, the Electrician's Insurances will LESS cover any and all damages and liabilities that occur on that worksite, and again, as waivers, etc. Of the contract become a weighty nuisance the electrician is not going to:

      I. Even waste his time giving an estimate on any problems therein

      II. Haul in extra Attorneys with irregular forms

      III. Risk his Liability Insurance and Union Dues, etc becoming Cancelled or


      IV. Recommend the place as a 'home' to any Homeowner's Association

      V. Do anything but call the Authorities/Code Officer/Fire Dept./Insurance providers before anything does therein.

      Very simply: if a better design existed, equally safe as the 'ugly box', very likely the energy supplier would've already provided that as an Installation Option.

      Unfortunately, no better design exists.

      To accommodate this, usually the energy supplier decides the best place to put the 'uglification' [which a beautification, it is not, and any utility addition or installation usually is: Ugly].

      Where these put is only by request and zoning considerations: out of sight and/or outside the range of any observible beautifications.

      If those did not place the Uglification out of sight, these did not do their part as an energy supplier and you need call the Utilities Management People at their Office to 'request the meter box moved' for ______ reasons.

      Reason cannot be: the box is ugly.

      These KNOW the Box is Ugly as they Also have one attached to their Home.

      Those reasons however can be any of the following:

      A. You need to move the panel box and Breakers


      1. You redesigned your kitchen, moved your Appliances, and that necessitates A.

      2. The architecture of the home and design layout has changed since the installation, so vastly that your electrician recommends A.

      3. Other drainage fiasco that may necessitate A as a safety provision or courtesy to plumbers.

      4. You want a window [with at least 1 Shutter] exactly where that meter box is and the meter box is in the way of a delightful home improvement.

      5. You are getting Solar, and that has RF Compatible Meter on 2nd Story, in the Options, to keep the Meter attached closer to the Power Lines.

      Reason #4 is most popular among homeowners as the means to get the electrical supplier to:

      Allow you to hide the box behind an open but moveable shutter.

      Reason #3 will need a plumber to verify that first.

      Reasons #2 and #1 are usually part of a Contract that the Contractor gets a hold of all these persons and authorities themself as is Included in the Estimate.

      Reason #5 is what I recommend, as it is not a makeshift but approved already by everyone involved.

      So basically, there are alternatives but limits too:

      Window with flowerbox may provide shade to the meterbox.

      Window shutter may place directly over the meterbox.

      A door may swing open and hide the meterbox.

      You can construct a small shed or outhouse nearby with a 'Green Roof' as long as there is no Inconvenienvlce to safety personnel.

      You get a Radio Controlled/ Reporting RF Meter box.

      Atwhich when talking about Renewing Insurances, even something so simple as:

      2 qty 2by4s may hoist a Hanging Garden at least 1 feet away from both the left and right sides of the meter box...

      May need the Fire Chief and Code Officer and an Inspector to all Sign off on: 'Yes the hanging garden does not obstruct duties of safety personnel nor does it inconvenvience the meter reading personnel, even though it does somewhat obscure the view of the meterbox from a distance', for your homeowner's insurance and fire insurance to Renew or Apply.

      Thus you got at least 6 places to call or 1 reliant on who you call first.

      I. Your Energy/Utilities Supplier

      II. Your Homeowners and Fire Insurance Provider

      III. Your Code Officer

      IV. Your Fire Cheif

      V. Your Electrician or a Contractor with Electrical Personnel

      V. Your tax collector

      Guess who you should call first?

      Basically, as an electrician, I would recommend you first call person #1, And ask about:

      I. Are there any locally available off-the-grid solar alternatives which necessitate moving the meter box? And can they recommend any Electricians who Install these?


      II. When can these install an upgrade to a modern RF [Radio Frequency] compatible meter [that reports to their device, rather than needs be read] which can place that meter box mostly anywhere, out of sight, or even far above eye level nearer to an on-roof installation of Solar? And how much will that cost?

      I suggest that as: that's my carreer, I am paid to know about these gadgets and workarounds and legalities, technicalities, etc. Been doing this since age 8.

      These RF Meter boxes with Solar Installations do Approve 'right away' too.

      They're safe, courteous, easy to inspect, easy to install, not inexpensive mind you, but they are very effective and you cannot beat the facts that:

      1. Solar will lower the monthly energy bill, small scale or large, always more than the price of the entire system.

      2. Your premiums on home and fire insurances will likely reduce slightly.

      3.a Any expanse from a small initial investment on an initial 140 to 420 Watt Solar installation upscaled to a large 1400 watts installation can easily do in the future: be that near or far future.

      3.b As I always say, if you don't like your neighbors, or they taking your paeking space you can always sell they electricity as a substitute for a parking meter, by: investing into a new 420W expanse every 6 months for 20 years, it gets to a point that you are becoming paid to use energy and keep those systems up to date.

      4.a. The ugly meter box goes out of plain sight, and may even place on a 2nd story, [like they do for 2nd story apartments]

      4.b. You can place a trellis or anything else your heart desires where the meter box formerly was.

  • BMu29219006 BMu29219006 on Jul 29, 2018

    I suggest paint it a brick red color. It will be there but blend in

  • Kriss Hall Kriss Hall on Jul 29, 2018

    I would try making a 3 sided "box" out of wood to hide the pipes. (Stained to the color of your preference) Then making a similar 3 sided wooden frame to match with the globe area cut out for viewing the meter. The rustic wood look should fit the look your going for.

  • Linda Linda on Jul 29, 2018

    Paint the pipe and meter, but not the glass covering the numbers they have to read, a color that matches the brick of your house! At least it will blend in better with your house!

  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Jul 29, 2018

    I don't think you are supposed to cover the face of those boxes. I would check with your electric company first. You could paint a brick design on the box that matches your house and it should blend in pretty well. A planter box above it and some ivy hanging down would look nice as well.

  • Robbie Cotterman Robbie Cotterman on Jul 29, 2018

    As a former gas worker, having a meter covered makes it very difficult and makes it a safety issues when needing access to the meter. I suggest asking your electric company to come replace the meter since it looks like in rough condition. Plus they might have an upgrade program. But I wouldn't block any utility.

  • Sandra Cameron Sandra Cameron on Jul 29, 2018

    I haven't gone onto Pintrest, but what about making an oversized "box" with a hinged front door. (I would keep the bottom of the box open and would plan on cleaning it on a regular basis to discourage pests from living inside) Center (between top on bottom edges) a cut out for the meter. Add a round thermometer below the meter and an outdoor clock above the meter. Use round trim or poly medallions to keep the sizes about the same. Paint everything except the faces of your three part information station to your taste.

  • Satindoll Satindoll on Jul 29, 2018

    How about using the opening of a wire basket and fitting it over the meter with hooks. Then you can put silk greenery or flowers in the holes to hide the meter. You can change out the decor as the seasons or holidays change. Or you can use a Robin Nesting box to cover it by cutting off the back of the box.... or you can just build a box to cover it. For whimsy, stencil the word "tips" on it.

  • Ray Porter Ray Porter on Jul 29, 2018

    Better check with the utility first. Hate to see you spend money and have the utility say something otherwise. There meter readers still need access to it.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jul 29, 2018

    You could build a 3 sided wood or vinyl box/beam to cover it from top to bottom. Build two of them, attach them to the house, add adjustable shelving for potted plants or decor items to dress up the area. Best of luck.

  • Maureen Maureen on Jul 29, 2018

    I dont think there is a problem with paint. (Just not the face, obviously) My utility wanted me to cut the bush I planted in front of it because it became difficult to read it. Where one response said: older box, they might upgrade you to a digital one, especially if you are unsure if you are getting accurate readings ;) but that being said, they will let you know. I was thinking paint it and hang a wreath around it, depending upon where the meter is. I put a rectangular basket with handle on top of my box and had evergreen branches in the basket. My pole only goes up to the box so the cement grey matches the cement foundation. I planted a smaller bush in front and there was no problem. We built our house, so we knew that the conduit went down another 5 or so feet. If you are able to plant at the base of it, you should call Dig Safe first, it is free. That way you would be sure that you could dig down without hitting utilities.