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How to read your meter

Posted on 8 January 2016

If you’ve just moved into a new property, you might discover that your new energy meter isn’t quite what you’re used to. Since you need to take a meter reading as soon as you move in, as well as taking regular readings thereafter to make sure you’re not being overcharged for your energy, it’s important you get to grips with reading your meter. So, if you’re not sure how to read your meter, just use the guidelines below to make sure you’re on the right track.

How to read an electric meter

There are three main types of electric meters that you may come across: a single rate digital meter, a two rate digital meter and a dial meter. However, your home could be fitted with older single rate or two rate electric meters which are cyclical, not digital.

Single rate digital meter

The majority of single rate digital meters will require you to give a five digit reading. However, some meters may show more than five digits. If your meter shows six digits and has no point or red numbers, contact us to check your reading.

How to read a single rate digital meter

Two rate digital meter

If your property has a two rate digital meter, you will need to give two sets of numbers to give a meter reading. For the majority of two rate digital meters, you will need to record the first five numbers of both lines and submit them to your energy supplier.

Most two rate digital meters will display one row of numbers but have two different rates, one for day (Normal) and one for night (Low), which you can switch between by pressing a button your meter. You need to record the readings for both rates to get your meter reading. On this type of meter there will also be a total which may be the meter’s default display. This means that the first number you see may not be either of the readings you need.

How to read a two rate digital meter

Dial meter

Dial meters are the trickiest to read, so it’s worth double checking your reading to make sure you’ve recorded it correctly. An electric dial meter will be made up of six round dials, however you only need to read the first five. The dials should be read from left to right and in the following order: 10,000; 1,000; 100; 10; 1kWh per day. The last dial can be ignored.

When reading the dial, you should always record the number that the dial has just passed. This number might not always be the nearest to the pointer, but unless the pointer has reached the subsequent number, you should record the number before. So, if the pointer is between numbers two and three, you should record the number two.

However, if for example the pointer is pointing at the number five on a dial and on the next dial (to the right) the pointer is between zero and one, you should write down five. Yet, if the pointer on the next dial is between nine and zero, you should write down four. Another thing to look out for is if the dial reads clockwise or anti-clockwise, as this will affect how you read the dial.

How to read a dial meter

How to read a gas meter

There are also three types of gas meters that you may come across: a digital metric meter, a digital imperial meter and a dial meter.

Digital metric meter

On a digital metric meter, you should see five numbers followed by a dot and then three more numbers. You only need to record the first five numbers to take a meter reading.

How to read a digital metric meter

Digital imperial meter

If your property comes with a digital imperial meter, you should see four large numbers and space followed by a small number. You only need to submit the four large numbers to your energy supplier.

How to read a digital imperial meter

Dial meter

A gas dial meter is slightly simpler to read than an electric dial meter as you should only see four dials. You need to record a number from each dial to express your meter reading. However, the same rules apply when reading dial meters:

  • Record the number the pointer has just past
  • Read the dials from left to right
  • Check whether the dials read clockwise or anti-clockwise

How to read a gas dial meter

If you think you may have submitted an incorrect reading, let us know straight away and we’ll update your account. It’s important to regularly send us a meter reading to ensure your energy bill is as accurate as possible. You can submit a meter reading at any time either online or by phone, however if you pay for your energy quarterly, it would be advisable to send us a reading before your next bill. 

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