Do I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?

Are you still relying on an outdated electrical panel? Fuse boards and consumer units don’t last forever and can become a safety hazard if not replaced after 30-40 years.

Do I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?

If your circuit breaker is regularly tripping out or you hear a buzzing or humming noise, it might be time for an electrical panel upgrade.

Replacing an old fuse board or faulty consumer unit can protect your wiring from potentially dangerous faults and ensure the safety of your home and electrical devices.

Additionally, having an up-to-date electrical panel can improve energy efficiency, saving you money on your electricity bills.

UK domestic electrical consumer unit or fuse box.

What is an electrical panel?

An electrical panel — commonly referred to as a consumer unit (CU), fuse board or fuse box — is a piece of electrical equipment that controls and distributes electricity throughout your home.

Consumer units are a new, safer alternative to traditional fuse boxes. Many people still call a consumer unit a ‘fuse box’ or ‘fuse board’, but they’re the same thing.

UK modern consumer unit.

When is it time to upgrade my electrical panel?

You might need to upgrade your electrical panel due to:

  • The age of your home
  • Frequent circuit breaker trips
  • Flickering lights
  • Buzzing, humming or crackling sounds
  • Sparks or burning smells
  • Higher electrical bills
  • Selling your home

For home improvements such as an extension, loft conversion, or new shower, you’ll need to install or upgrade your panel due to the need for new wiring and circuits.

An electrician can look at these issues and determine whether your fuse board needs to be replaced.

Electrician checking a domestic consumer unit fuse board.

The age of your home

If you have an older home, it’s possible that the electrical panel is out-of-date and can’t handle modern electrical appliances, resulting in them drawing more power than your electrics can handle.

If you notice circuit breakers tripping frequently, this might be a sign that there is an issue.

Many traditional fuse boxes use — you guessed it — fuses, which need to be replaced when they blow. New electrical panels can be reset with the flick of a switch.

Outdated electrical panels can lead to an electrical fire or accident if not addressed promptly.

Upgrading an old electrical panel to a modern consumer unit ensures your home’s wiring is safe and up-to-date with current electrical safety standards.

A new consumer unit is safer and less likely to overheat, shock, or cause fires.

Older houses have fuse boxes that use fuses.

Frequent circuit breaker trips

If circuit breakers keep tripping after you have reset them, this could be a sign that your current electrical panel is outdated and unable to cope with your modern electricity needs.

Frequent tripping happens when you use too much electricity, causing an overload of the circuit.

When you use too many devices for one circuit to handle, it triggers the overload protection to trip the circuit breaker, cutting the power to that circuit.

Failure to deal with the problem could result in serious issues, such as electrical fires or damage to your appliances.

Speak to an electrician

Reach out to a qualified electrician for an inspection and to determine if an upgrade is required.

  • Local electrical company
  • Fast completion times
  • Competitive rates
Get a quote

Flickering lights

if you have flickering lights, it might indicate that you need a new electrical panel. Upgrading can prevent future issues with lighting and appliances.

Buzzing, humming or crackling sounds

If your panel has started buzzing, humming noise or making crackling noises, it may be the cause of a loose connection or partial discharge, which can cause an electrical fire.

A buzzing fuse box is dangerous. Get a qualified electrician to look at your consumer unit or fuse board straight away.

Sparks or burning smells

Contact a qualified electrician immediately if you detect sparks or a burning smell coming from your electrical panel. This is severely dangerous and could result in fire, electric shock, or further component damage.

Higher electrical bills

If your electrical bill seems higher than your friends and neighbours, it could be down to your current electrical panel.

Upgrading your electrical panel ensures your electrical system works correctly, uses electricity more efficiently, and keeps you safe.

Selling your home

If you plan to sell your house, an electrical panel upgrade can make your home safer and more attractive to potential buyers.

Upgrading your existing panel can also increase the value of your home.

A panel upgrade can make your home safer.

The benefits of upgrading your electrical panel

There are some distinct advantages to upgrading your electrical panel.


In 2021, there were 3953 deaths in the UK due to electrical fires caused by wiring and fuse boards.

Upgrading an old electrical panel to a new consumer unit makes your home safe and up-to-date with current electrical safety standards. This means more protection from fires and electric accidents.

Additional capacity

New electrical panels let you power more appliances and devices without worrying about overloading your circuits.

Our electricity usage is increasing year-on-year, so having a panel capable of meeting this demand is crucial.

With additional capacity required for things like electric car chargers, air conditioning units and smart home devices, it’s important to consider your future energy needs and choose a new electrical panel which lets you add electrical appliances without issue.

By investing in an upgraded panel, you’re preparing your home to handle these evolving requirements.

Energy efficiency

An electrical panel upgrade improves the energy efficiency of your home, which means cheaper bills and a lower carbon footprint.

Home value

Upgrading your electric panel can significantly enhance your home’s value and marketability.

A well-maintained electrical panel that complies with safety standards is a selling point that instils confidence in the property’s overall condition.


Your electrical panel must adhere to current electrical safety codes and regulations.

By staying up-to-date, you’re future-proofing your home against changing requirements, ensuring that your electrical system remains in good standing.

It also helps you avoid any potential penalties or difficulties with insurance claims if anything electrical-related occurs.


By upgrading your electrical panel, you can enjoy a more reliable power supply.

An outdated panel can cause circuit overloads and tripped circuits. With a modern panel, you can enjoy consistent and stable electricity throughout your home.

A circuit breaker in your panel may trip if it needs upgraded.

How to upgrade your electrical panel

Upgrading your home’s electrical panel requires the expertise of a qualified electrician with the knowledge, experience, and tools to do so safely without causing any damage. This also ensures that you can navigate the necessary permits and requirements.

Your electrician will inspect the existing circuit breakers, wiring, and sockets to identify any necessary repairs.

Next, they will make recommendations based on the electrical demands needed for your home and replace your outdated fuse board with a modern, safe, energy-efficient consumer unit.

How much does it cost to upgrade an electrical panel?

The cost for an electrical panel upgrade can vary, typically ranging from £500 to £4,000. However, it may be higher depending on factors like the size of your home, amp capacity and additional electrical work.

The cost to replace your home’s electrical system is a sound long-term investment that ensures your home is protected while modernising your home for the future. It could also help you save some money on your electricity bills.

Can I upgrade my electrical panel myself?

Carrying out an electrical panel upgrade by yourself could result in electric shock, fire or damage to your home. While you can do electrical work yourself, it is essential to have a registered electrician check your work to ensure safety.

It’s highly recommended to hire a qualified electrician to carry out electrical panel upgrades, as they possess the necessary expertise and tools to ensure a safe and efficient upgrade.

Circuit breaker tripped in house.

Get help with upgrading your electrical system

If you need to upgrade your electrical panel, we can help. We are a NICEIC-approved electrical contractor specialising in electrical panel upgrades in Glasgow, Edinburgh and across the central belt of Scotland.

Replacement electrical panels

Our team has the knowledge and experience to detect faulty fuse boards and carry out electrical panel upgrades quickly and within budget.

  • Local electrical company
  • Fast completion times
  • Competitive rates
Get a quote

We also have many other electrical services, such as electrical rewiring, LED lighting and PAT testing.