Knowing how to take readings from a gas and electricity meter can be a minefield with so many models on offer so we’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help ensure your readings are correct.
With many different types of meters available you want to be sure that you’re providing your utility provider with the correct reading so you can calculate your utility costs ahead of time, allowing you to make sure your account is not in arrears.
There are 4 different types of electric meters available: dial, smart, digital, and electronic, whereas gas meters come in dial, smart, and digital forms.
Electric and gas meter readings are no more than 5 numbers in length; in some cases, there may be additional numbers that are highlighted or written in red, however these are not required for a meter reading submission.
Reading Your Gas Meter
Dial Gas Meter
A typical dial meter (pictured below) will have 6 dials on them, but you will only need to submit a reading with 4. Each dial will alternate the way that it turns, from clockwise to counter-clockwise, but they are always marked with clear legible numbers.
Each dial is labelled and the first dial for your reading should be labelled as 1,000,000 PER REV, then work your way down to 1,000 PER REV. The highest numbered dial will be on the left, and you should take your reading from left to right. If one of the dials falls between numbers, always provide the lower number, as that cycle is not complete.
If a dial is between 9 and 0, you must record 9 as part of your reading, but also reduce the number for the dial to the left by 1, as that cycle has not completed a full rotation and you will be charged for gas you have not yet used.
Digital Gas Meter
A standard digital meter will display 5 numbers and then a decimal point with 3 additional numbers. The number after the decimal point should have either a red border around them or be written in red. You don’t need these numbers for your reading, just the 5 digits before the decimal point.
The numbers need to be taken from left to right as you normally would, and again, ignore any numbers after the decimal point.
Reading Your Electricity Meter
Dial Electric Meter
An electric meter with a dial display works in the same way as a gas meter, the dials are read from left to right. The difference, however, is that you will need a 5 digit reading rather than 4. Each dial is labelled from 10,000 to 1kWh.
As with the gas meter dials, they alternate the direction in which they turn, so don’t assume the number based on the position of the dial. If a dial falls between a number, take the lower number as your reading and adjust accordingly as mentioned above.
A typical electric meter display looks similar to the numbers typed on a calculator and will include a decimal point followed by several numbers in red. You only need to take down the first 5 numbers for your reading, which are straightforward to read.
Digital Electric Meter
An electric display will consist of a number readout, certain numbers will be either in red or have a red border around them and you will not need these numbers for your reading. Write down the numbers from left to right, up to the red numbers.
There may be more than 1 row of numbers if you are currently on a dual-rate tariff such as Economy 7 or Economy 10. Each row will be labelled as the lower tariff or night rate.
Smart meters automatically send your energy usage to your utility provider, so you don’t need to take the readings yourself. This will save you the hassle of having to remember to take the readings, allows you to cut down on energy usage where necessary, and calculate the cost of your energy bills.
Can’t find your meters?
Before moving into a property, you should be informed of where the meter(s) or located so you can check that access is obtainable. If you’re unsure as to where your gas meter is you can always ask a neighbour who has a similar property, as it will likely be within the same or similar location. Or if you’re renting a property, you can ask the landlord. Generally, gas meters are either outside within a meter housing, or inside they will be in the kitchen or hallway.
Submitting a meter reading
Once you have your meter readings, you need to submit them to your energy provider. Most companies have an app that allows you to submit them quickly and without fuss. You can, however, login to your account online and submit them via the website, or you can submit them over the phone using an automated service.
If you do not provide meter readings you will receive an estimated bill which could be higher than the energy you have consumed, so it’s always advised that you submit your readings on time.