It’s important to submit meter readings to your energy company so you know you’re paying the right amount for the energy you’ve used, whether at home or in your business. But in order to take a reading, you’ll need to understand how to read your energy meters. These devices can come in different formats, and knowing how to understand them is important. Below, you can find how to read both your electric and gas meters, as well as how to submit readings to your energy provider.
How do I read my electric meter?
Reading your electric meter will depend on the type that you have. There are all sorts of varieties, including digital, electronic, smart and dial meters.
A digital meter is the most common and looks a little like this:
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. In order to take an electricity 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.
How do I read my gas meter?
You can read your gas meter 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 exactly the 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 number. When the needle falls between nine and zero, you should use the number nine and reduce the number on the previous dial by one.
How do I submit a meter reading?
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 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 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.
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