There are four kinds of electric meter: digital, electronic, smart and dial meters. Here's how to read them.
How to read a digital meter
Here's a typical digital meter display:
Write down numbers from left to right, ignoring any numbers in red or in a red surround.
If your tariff gives you lower-priced off-peak electricity like ECO20:20 or Economy 7 your meter may have two rows of figures as shown below:
If your meter has more than one row of figures, write down all the numbers from left to right in each row, ignoring any numbers in red or in a red surround. The previous meter readings on your bill will indicate which is a 'day rate' and which is a 'night rate'.
How to read an electronic meter
Here's a typical electronic meter display:
Some electronic meters have a cycle display button that you need to press to take readings; and some automatically scroll through the various displays. With a meter with two rows of figures, write down all the numbers from left to right in each display, ignoring any numbers in red or in a red surround. The previous readings on your bill will indicate which is a 'day rate' and which is the 'night rate'.
How to read a dial meter
Here's a typical electricity dial meter:
Each dial turns in the opposite direction to the one before it. Before you read your dial meter, check the direction of your dials. They may not be exactly as those illustrated above. Every dial on every meter revolves from 0 to 1 and through to 9, before continuing to 0 again. In the example above, the dial meter reading shows as 44928.
To read an electric dial meter correctly:
- Read the dials from left to right
- If the pointer is between the two numbers, always take the lower number
- If the pointer is directly over a number, write down that one
- If the pointer falls between 9 and 0, write down 9 and reduce the reading you've already taken for the dial on it's left by one. For example, if you originally recorded 5, reduce it to 4
- Don't read the last dial on the right
Do you have a smart meter?
You don't have to read your smart meter, as it automatically sends us your meter readings. View our smart meter guide for more information.