It’s important to get a regular reading from your electricity meter to ensure that your utilities provider is giving you the most accurate bill possible. Many people believe that the electricity provider can check your meter remotely – don’t make this mistake! It could lead to you seriously overpaying or underpaying your bill.

Reading a meter can sometimes be confusing, but once you’ve established the type of meter you have and how to read it, you will be able to do a monthly reading, which you should be able to update online via your electricity account.

Dial meter

A dial meter can sometimes be quite confusing to read, so it’s important to take note of the slight difference in the dials.

The meter has five or six dials that look like clocks. If you have six you only need to read the first five. The slight difference in the dials, which can sometimes be missed, is that each dial (and set of numbers) alternate direction – clockwise and counter-clockwise.

The numbers on each dial run from 0 – 9. If the dial’s pointer lands between two numbers, take note of the lower number. For example if it lands between 4 and 5, your number will be 4. If the pointer lands exactly on a number, record it as that number.

There may be times when the pointer lands between 0 and 9, in this instance you need to lower the number of the previous dial by one. For example, if the first dial is pointing at 5 and the second dial has landed between 0 and 9, then the first dial should be reduced to 4.

Digital meter

A digital meter has either one (single register) or two (two registers) rows of numbers, which can range from 0 – 9.

If you are reading a single register, simply take note of the numbers shown from left to right, ignoring the last number which is marked ‘0.1’.

If you are reading a two register meter then you will have two rows of numbers. The top row is usually your off-peak electricity usage and is marked ‘low’ or ‘night’. The bottom row is your normal electricity usage. That is marked either ‘normal’, ‘rate’ or ‘rate 2’. As with a single register, note both rows of numbers, left to right, ignoring the last number marked ‘0.1’.

Electric meter

Electric meters are the easiest to read and will always display the rate currently in use. Simply write down the rate displayed and submit it with your reading.

If you are still unsure about how to read your water meter then please contact your electricity supplier. And if you would like to find out ways to reduce your electric bills read our money saving tips article.

Image by Rober Linder