A domestic sized gas meter will more commonly be found in a small to medium business. That’s because they will only be measuring a small amount of gas. The larger the business and the more gas that it uses, the more likely it is that it will have an industrial or commercial gas meter that can more easily cope with higher gas volumes. Additionally, many businesses are now opting for a smart gas meter, which can break down gas usage by the hour and highlight where and when excess gas is being used (which can be very useful for cutting down the cost of your bill).
Whatever size of gas meter your business uses, it will read your gas usage in either imperial or metric measurements. Imperial gas meters will use cubic feet to measure the amount of gas that you’re using, while metric meters measure gas usage in cubic metres. The main difference between the two is that imperial meters will be using four digits and metric meters use five. On both types, you should ignore any numbers listed after the decimal point.
Your gas supplier will be able to determine exactly how much gas you’ve used by looking at your meter figures. However, you can also do this yourself very easily. Look at your previous bill reading and subtract it from your current meter reading. That will tell you how many units (either imperial or metric) you’ve used. Then, simply check your kilowatt-hours (kWh), which will be listed on your bill, and multiply that cost by how many units you’ve used. Of course, your energy supplier will do this themselves, but it can be a very useful habit to get into if you want to be more aware of your expected payments.
These are the meters that give you a digital readout in cubic metres (m3). You will be able to see either the letter ‘M’ or ‘M3’ on the front of the meter. The five numbers to the left of the decimal point are the numbers to write down and give to your gas supplier if you want to avoid estimated bills.
These are generally the meters that were installed in older properties. They measure gas in cubic feet, and you will usually see those words written on the front of the meter, although in some cases, it will simply say ‘Ft’ instead. Reading these gas meters also means ignoring anything after the decimal point, but most digital imperial meters will have those digits in red.
These are the type of meters that most people will recognise, and they can look a little bit intimidating. They shouldn’t be because they work in the same way as other meter types. The clock-style dials will be numbered from zero to nine, with a pointer on each. Going from left to right, write down which number the pointer indicates, or the lowest of two if the pointer is resting between two numbers (unless it’s pointing between zero and nine, in which case you should write it as a nine). Like digital imperial meters, ignore any red dials.
Once you know how to read your meter, you’ll be able to submit your gas readings to your supplier every month. That means that you will always get a more accurate bill based on the amount of gas you’ve used. When you rely on your supplier’s gas estimates, then the amount you pay can be too high, too low, and too unpredictable.