There may be other buttons and dials on the meter, but the main thing is that you can see the numbers clearly to take a reading. To take an electricity meter reading, you should make a note of the numbers from left to right, ignoring any that are in red or have a red background. In some cases, the meter might have two rows of numbers. This is the case if you have a tariff that charges you a different amount depending on when you use your electricity. For instance, you may pay a lower rate at night. You should make a note of both figures.
If you have an electronic meter, you’ll see something similar to the above, but instead of the analogue display, the numbers will be displayed on a small screen. They will look much the same, and you should write down the black numbers, ignoring the red. If you can’t see the numbers and the screen is blank, you may need to press a button to take the reading. Pressing any button on a modern digital meter should light up the screen so you can see the numbers clearly.
A dial meter is more uncommon, but it is possible that your meter could be in this format. Each dial will present you with a number, and you’ll likely see four or five dials, all displaying different things. You should make a note of the number on each dial, working from left to right to get your reading.
You’ll notice that the dials don’t all read the same way. The numbers go anticlockwise on the first dial, and clockwise on the next, so be sure to take an accurate reading using the needle. If the needle falls part way between two figures, always take the lowest number. If the needle falls between nine and zero, assume that it reads nine. Then, you will need to reduce the reading of the dial on the left by one. For instance, if you recorded that reading as three, it will need to be changed to two. This doesn’t need to be done in every instance, only when the needle falls between nine and zero.
The dial on the far right may be a slightly different colour or presented differently – this one can be ignored.
When you have a smart meter, readings get taken automatically by your energy provider, so you don’t have to worry about reading these.
You can take your gas meter reading in much the same way as above. With a digital or electronic meter, take a note of all the numbers from left to right including any zeros. You don’t need to include any numbers after a decimal point or space, or numbers in red.
If your meter has dials, you can read them using the exact same method as above. Take the number of each dial, working from left to right. If the needle falls in between two numbers, always take the lowest. When the needle falls between nine and zero, you should use the number nine and reduce the number on the previous dial by one.
There are multiple ways in which you can submit a meter reading. Most energy providers will accept a meter reading via text, email or phone. If you have an online account or their app on your smartphone, these may be used to submit a meter reading, too. Occasionally, they may send someone out to read the meter for you, though this is becoming more rare.
When it’s time to submit a meter reading, you’ll likely receive a reminder by mail, email or text. You can reply to this correspondence with your readings that were taken using the methods above.