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What is National Meter Read Day?

By EDF | Posted January 20, 2023

National Meter Reading Day is when energy companies collect meter readings from some of their customers. It falls on the day before a change in the gas and electricity unit rates for those on variable tariffs. This currently happens once every three months in line with the changes in Ofgem's price cap.

Before a change in prices, collecting meter readings from customers helps to ensure that bills are accurate. This prevents anyone from paying more than they should.

1. Who should submit a reading?

Only customers on variable tariffs with non-smart meter types will be asked to submit a reading for Meter Reading Day.

You will only be asked to submit a meter reading if needed, via email, text, or post based on your preferences.

2. Who doesn't need to submit a meter reading?

Unless you're requested to, you don't need to submit a meter reading if:

  • You're on a fixed rate tariff, as your unit rates are fixed and won't change in line with Ofgem's price cap.
  • You have a smart meter. Your smart meter sends us meter readings automatically. There's no need to submit manual readings if it's functioning correctly. You can check your smart meter submission history in MyAccount.
  • You have a prepayment meter. Likewise, if you use a pre-payment meter or Pay as You Go on your Smart Meter, you pay for the energy you use upfront so there's no need to submit a meter reading.

3. When should you submit a meter reading?

National Meter Read Day isn't the only time we ask some customers to submit meter readings. Depending on how you pay, we'll ask for meter readings at different points throughout the year, alongside National Meter Read Day.

Submitting meter reads to ensure accurate bills throughout the year

Budget Direct Debit customers – For customers who pay a fixed amount each month via Direct Debit, we’ll also ask you for a meter reading twice a year. This will be just before your next Direct Debit review. You'll get a bill once you've submitted a reading outlining if any change in your Direct Debit amount is needed. When you submit a reading on National Meter Read Day, you won't receive a bill if it's outside of your Direct Debit review period.

Direct Debit whole amount – For customers who pay for all the energy they use each month, we’ll ask you to submit a meter reading each month just before your next Direct Debit payment is due. You'll get a bill just after you submit this meter reading. 

Cash/Cheque customers – For customers who pay by cash or cheque, we’ll ask you to submit a monthly meter reading. Otherwise, we’ll send you a bill based on estimated usage.

Submitting meter reads for National Meter Reading Day

National Meter Read Day falls just before a new Ofgem price cap occurs.

Ofgem currently adjusts its price cap every three months depending on averages in the wholesale prices of electricity and gas. When prices go up or down, we’ll notify our customers 30 days before any changes. Accurate meter readings will ensure that the energy you've used before a price change is billed at the right price.

4. How do you read your meter and submit a reading?

When requested to submit a meter reading, the process of taking a meter reading is quick and easy and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. If you have a smart meter, your readings will be sent automatically.

You'll need to read your meter from left to right, including any zeros you see at the start. If you see any numbers in red or any numbers after a decimal point, just ignore them.

If you're unsure about taking readings, check our guide on how to read your meter depending on your meter type.

Once you've taken your meter readings, you can submit them online. Do this either by logging into MyAccount on the web or the EDF app. 

You'll see your meter reading history updated in MyAccount within a few days after you've submitted your reads.