Dummies Guide to Reading your Meter

Meter

Dummies Guide to Reading a Meter

Chances are your energy provider will want you to check your meter at some point in the year, and it’s more than likely one of those scary adult things you’ve never had to do before. It’s important that the energy company can get the readings to check your bills are accurate and you’re not being over or under charged for the amount you use. There are different meters for your gas and electricity – your provider may need both or just one. Here’s a quick guide to reading your meter that will get you checking those digits in no time!

Firstly, you need to find your meter. Hopefully you know where it is and can skip this section but if not there’s some prime places to check. Do you have one of those weird metal boxes on the outside of your house with the funny hole on the far right? If so, that’ll likely hold your meter but you’ll need a meter key to open it up; these cost a couple quid from your local supermarket. If your house has a basement area, it might be down there, so get your flashlight app up and try not to trip up! Any kind of storage area, especially under the stairs, is also a prime location so remember to check ground level and near the ceiling – it can really vary from house to house. If you still can’t find it don’t be afraid to ask your landlord – they’ll know for certain.

Electricity

Electricity Meter

Open the meter cover if need be. You’ll see a window with a row of numbers inside, possibly two rows. Now read the numbers from left to right. Ignore any red numbers or decimals and make sure you include any zeros at the beginning. If you have two rows to deal with, they’ll be marked LOW and NORMAL. LOW is the rate for night and NORMAL is the rate for day, so it’s important to read both of them. Just read each row the same as you would for a single row meter but make sure to note which is the LOW reading and which is the NORMAL!

Check out this example, can you take the reading?

Figure 1

Click here for the answer

I’ve never come across one of these when taking readings but there’s another kind of electricity meter with dials which can look daunting at first but aren’t too tricky! You’ll see a row of dials with lots of numbers and you can start by ignoring any red dials. Start from the left and look at the first dial. The numbers should go clockwise from 0-9 and you need to see which number the pointer has just passed, for example if the pointer is in-between 5 and 6 you want to read it as 5.

When you come to the next dial the numbers will be anti-clockwise from 0-9 but you’re doing the exact same thing- if the pointer is in-between 5 and 6 you want to read it as 5. The dials will alternate clockwise and anti-clockwise but as long as the pointer is in between two numbers you always want to read the lowest number. The complicated bit comes when a pointer sits exactly on a number. When this happens, check the dial to the right. If the pointer on the dial to the right has passed zero the number for the dial you’re reading will be the number the pointer is currently on. If the pointer on the dial to the right is just before zero you want to read the number below the number the pointer is currently on. It can sound complicated at first but you should get the hang of it soon enough!

Can you take the reading?

Figure 2

Click here for the answer
Gas

Gas Meter

Gas Meters come in two different forms – imperial or metric – but each will be a row of numbers. Imperial will have FT3 at the end and metric will have M3.

To read an imperial you need to read the first four numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning. When you reach the red number add a decimal point and read the red number and any following numbers.

Can you read this example?

Figure 3

Click here for the answer

To read a metric you need to read the numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning. When you reach a space or decimal point, add a decimal point and read the remaining numbers. Ignore any letters.

How about this example?

Figure 4

Click here for the answer

And there you have it! And don’t forget, if you have any issues or complications don’t be afraid to call up your energy provider and ask – it’s their job to help you out with any concerns or issues!

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