Recently we have discussed the potential advantages of smart meter readings and explained how it may help to save some energy in your property. It is essential to understand the records when you want to start making changes. The way of reading the meter depends on the type of a device (digital or dial) and whether is it electric or gas. In most cases, you should report your monthly energy usage to the supplier. Have you ever thought what all the numbers stand for?

At the first glance they seem confusing, but reading your electricity meter can be actually easy with the handy guide below.

Electric meters

  • Single or double-rate digital meter

energy

(source: britishgas.co.uk)

A digital meter has an display that shows 5 digits in black or write and may be followed by one more number, usually in red. To read this meter correctly, write down all numbers before the decimal point (red number in the end), from left to right.

Perhaps, your display shows two rows of digits. This means that you have a two-rate digital meter. You should then follow the same instructions as with the single-rate meter and report both readings to your supplier. The top row, categorised as ‘low’  shows you the energy you used at nights and the one below indicates the energy consumption throughout a day.

  • Dial meter

dial

(source: britishgas.co.uk)

Some older meters may have dials instead of digits, that look like clocks. You may notice that the dials next to each other make rounds in the opposite directions.

Read the first 5 dials from the left to right and write down the numbers that are indicated by the pointer. If the pointer is between two numbers, always choose the lower one. If the pointer is between 9 and 0, you must reduce the number you have taken for the dial on its left by one.  For example, if you wrote down 6 in the first place, you should reduce it to 5. Last but not least, ignore the last dial marked as 1/10, if there is one.

Gas meters

  • Digital gas meter

There are two basic types of digital gas meters: metric and imperial gas meter.

Metric gas meter with an electronic or digital display will show 5 numbers and a decimal point, followed by other digits. To read the meter you should write down those first 5 numbers (left to right) and ignore the last numbers after the decimal point, shown in a different colour.

Imperial gas meter, similar as the one above, shows 4 numbers on a electronic or digital display, decimal point and two numbers in red at the very end. Write down those 4 digits, ignoring at the same time numbers after decimal point.

imperial

(source: britishgas.co.uk)

  • Dial gas meter

Similar as in the case of electric meters, the dial gas meter figures are displayed in the form of 4 or more dials. Note numbers from all 4 dials from left to right. If the pointer is between two numbers, choose the lower number, if however it stands between 9 and 0, write down 9.

Remember! It is important to know how to read meter readings to be sure that you are billed correctly each month. Also, it gives you a better overview on the energy consumption throughout different periods of a year.