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One Utility Bill • 4 mins

The Ultimate Meter Reading Guide

How to Gas electricity
The Ultimate Meter Reading Guide

How to read electric meters

How to read gas meters

If you don't have a smart meter, you need to send monthly meter readings to your energy supplier so they have an up-to-date record of how much energy you're using. This is true even if you have an Unlimited Energy deal.

The price of your energy will depend on your energy tariff. And the price could change depending on whether you have a fixed energy tariff or not. If you don't your variable tariff will change when Ofgem announce the energy price cap

If you have a smart meter, you’ll only need to send your opening and closing readings. Reading a meter can be tricky, especially with the many different types of meters out there. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to read your meter! 

For more info on sorting your bills, check our our utility bills guide or learn more about Unlimited Energy and why Unlimited Energy could be the solution to fixing your energy bills.

Reading the meter depends on the type of meter present in your property (digital or dial) and whether it is electricity or gas.

Electric Meters

Digital Electric Meter

If you have a digital electric meter, the digits you need to get an accurate meter reading will be displayed on a screen like so:

A black analogue number display showing 38765 in white text and then 0 in red

  1. Read the numbers on your meter left to right

  2. Only make note of the numbers in black and any numbers that come before a decimal point or space 


Dial electric meter

Some older electric meters have dials instead of digits. The dials look like little clocks.

several black dials against a white background showing a reading of 13970

  1. Write down the numbers the pointer has just passed, from left to right

  2. If the pointer lies exactly on any number, underline it (in the above example, you would underline the 4)

  3. Look at your five numbers. For any that are underlined, look at the number following it – if it’s between 9 and 0, reduce your underlined number by one. The above example would therefore be 1 3 9 7 0


Prepayment meter

With your prepayment electric meter, you may need to go through multiple screens to find your meter reading. There should be a letter for each screen on the left hand side of your display. If your meter doesn’t display letter codes, take a look at the title on your screen and it will tell what you’re looking at. 


  1. Press the blue button on your meter to activate the screen

  2. Press the blue button again to move through the letters on the screen

  3. If you have a single read meter for electricity, your reading is on screen H

  4. If you have dual rates for your electricity depending on the time of day, your readings are on screens H and J

Remember, when making a note of your meter reading, only take notice of the numbers in black and ignore any numbers in red!


Dual Rate Meter or Economy 7 Meter

A two rate meter, or Economy 7 meter, will give you two different meter readings, you’ll get a meter reading for your day usage and night usage. Two rate meters are normally found in electricity only properties. 

Two black analogue meter readings showing 23658 and 38765 - both have a red 0 in a separate red box at the end

  1. Press the display test button on your meter 

  2. Read the low/night rate 

  3. Press the the display button tests button until the normal/day reading appears

  4. Make note of both sets of numbers from left to right with and any zeros at the beginning 


Smart electric meters

There are two types of smart electricity meters, keypads or with A and B buttons. 


  1. Press the 9 on the keypad 

  2. Your smart meter screen will show IMP KWH, followed by 8 numbers and “kWh” – for example, 0001234.5.

  3. You’ll only need to make note of the first 7 numbers (including on zeros at the start), remember to leave any numbers after the decimal point. 


For smart meters with A and B numbers follow these steps: 


  1. Press the A button until the screen shows “Total Act Import” 

  2. This will show your meter reading and it should be followed by kWh

How to read gas meters


How to read a digital gas meter

There are two types of digital gas meters, so first you’ll need to determine whether you have a metric or imperial gas meter.

How to read a metric gas meter

A digital display showing 348.422

  1. Read the first four numbers left to right 

  2. Make sure to include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include any numbers in red, or after the red numbers

  3. If your meter has reached 9,999 it will start recording from zero again 


How to read an imperial gas meter

An analogue gas meter display showing 3765

  1. Read the first four numbers left to right

  2. Make sure to include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include any numbers after a decimal point or space

  3. If your meter has reached 9,999 it will start recording from zero again 


How to read a dial gas meter

Dial gas meters are displayed in the form of 4 or more dials.

a dial gas meter display

  1.  Read all the dials from left to right, ignore any dials in red and the large dial

  2. If the pointer is between two numbers, read the lowest of the 2 numbers (so if the pointer is between 6 and 7, the number you read is 6). However, if your pointer is between 0 and 9, always make a note of 9

  3. If the pointer is directly on a number, for example 5, look at the next dial to the right.

  4. If the dial to the right shows 9, then take one away from the number on the dial you’re currently reading. For example, if the dial you’re reading shows 3, but the dial to the right of it reads 9, then the number you’d write down is 2


How to read prepayment gas meter

To get your reading on a prepayment gas meter, follow these simple steps:


  1. Press the red button 'A' to turn the screen on

  2. Once the screen has loaded, press the red button 'A' twice

  3. You should see a screen that says 'Meter Index' - this is your meter reading


When making a note of your meter reading, make sure to only take notice of the numbers in black and ignore any numbers in red!

How to read smart gas meter

  1. If your screen is off, press the red button to wake it up 

  2. Press the button until you find “Credit On” on your screen 

  3. The press again until it shows “Meter Index” 

  4. The numbers that appear will be your meter reading

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