How to read your electricity meter

By Energy Company Numbers on August 22, 2016 in Help and advice

Whenever your renewal is up or you switch supplier, you will need to take a meter reading.

Your electricity meter is used by your electricity supplier to monitor your energy usage – it can also be used by you to monitor your energy consumption. Not everybody finds the traditional electricity meter intuitive, however, and as a result smart meters are being rolled out by some energy suppliers to improve their customer’s relationship with their energy. For those of you still without one, the traditional electricity meter in your home can provide some valuable insight all the same.

How to read your electricity meter

Electricity meters are either digital, electrical or analogue. As you might expect, the digital systems are newer. Each meter is accurate.

Reading an electricity meter is relatively straightforward. Before you go ahead, have a torch handy if your meter is in a poorly lit area.

Reading a digital electricity meter

digital electricity meter image

Pictured above is a typical digital electricity meter.

When reading the meter, you write down the numbers from left to right. You ignore any numbers in the red surround. If your meter has more than one row of numbers, you write down the numbers from left to right from top to bottom again ignoring any in red.

Next up, the electrical electricity meter:

Reading an electrical electricity meter

electrical electricity meter image

Pictured above is a typical electrical electricity meter.

As with the digital system, write down the numbers from left to right. You ignore any numbers in the red surround. Some electrical electricity meters have a button named ‘cycle’ that you need to press to access your meter reading. If in doubt, read the instructions.

Next up, the analogue electricity meter

Reading an analogue electricity meter

analogue electricity meter

Pictured above is a typical analogue electricity meter.

In an analogue system, you will notice that each dial turns in the opposite direction to the one before it. This is normal. You may also notice that your system has more or fewer dials than illustrated above. This is also normal. To read an analogue electricity meter, do the following:

  • Similarly with digital and electrical systems, read each dial from left to right;
  • Ignore the dial farthest to the right;
  • If any of the pointers are between two numbers, take the lowest;
  • If a pointer is directly on a number, take that number;
  • If a pointer falls between 9 and 0, write down 9 and reduce the reading on the dial directly to its left by 1;
  • The example above has a reading of 44928.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to read your meter properly. If you have any problems, you can ask your questions below by leaving a comment.

About the Author

Energy Company NumbersView all posts by Energy Company Numbers
Energy Company Numbers is a telephone number directory service dedicated to helping UK consumers keep in touch with their energy suppliers.


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