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  • Writer's picturePeter

UMSUG Codes - Explained!

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

In this post we’re going to breakdown and explain what a charge code is and how it relates in particular to the street lighting industry. Charge codes can apply to illuminated signs and traffic signals plus many other pieces of equipment.

Before we continue, if you require a charge code for a piece of equipment you produce - we can manage the process and application for you, just get in touch or you can check out this infographic detailing the process.

What is an UMSUG Code?

UMSUG stands for Unmetered Supply User Group; the correct terminology is charge code and not UMSUG code. A charge code is a 13 digit reference that is assigned to a lantern; you will also be assigned a charge code for the control type, i.e. photocell.

This code enables the UMSO (Unmetered Supplies Operator) and MA (Meter Administrator) to calculate the electricity used for a particular piece of equipment. In the case of a street light, this will be the energy consumed by the lantern and the control equipment (photocell, Telecell, Node etc.).

These codes are required because street lights that are supplied by the DNO (Distribution Network Operator) are usually not metered and therefore the usage has to be calculated.

Dissection of a Charge Code (street light):

42 0015 0000 100

Digits 1 and 2 = the lamp type

Digits 3,4,5 and 6 = the wattage

Digits 7,8,9 and 10 = the control gear

Digits 11,12 and 13 = if the equipment has pre-set dimming this value will vary depending upon what the unit is dimmed by; this example doesn't dim and therefore is set at 100% output.

If the lighting asset is controlled via CMS and dimmed through that system the dimming value will remain at 100 even though it is dimmed. The MA will determine the energy through the CMS reporting.

The example above indicates this lantern is LED, 15 watts, LED driver, 100% output.

The same 13 digit charge code is applicable for control equipment such as a photocell - the first two digits range from 91 - 99.

Check out our infographic detailing the UMSUG code application process.

We're happy to answer any queries relating to street lighting and energy reporting. Drop us an e-mail at

In a future post we'll talk about how charge codes are used to generate monthly electricity bills.

All the best,



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