How to read your gas/electricity meters

Reading both gas and electricity meters can be a challenge if you haven’t done it before, plus there are digital metric, digital imperial and dial meters which can become confusing.

Here’s a useful guide so you can understand both as they are both quite different but in a yet simple and easy way…

How to read your electricity meter:

The most common types of electricity meters are single-rate digital meters, variable-rate digital meters and dial meters.

Single-rate digital meters:

This is when the electricity meter is measured by the energy use in kilowatt hours (kWh) it’s a similar meter as it has one set of numbers to refer to. All you need to do is read from left to right and ignore any of the number after the decimal point (this will be highlighted in red).

Digital meters:

This meter shows a series of clock-style dials with numbers from zero to nine, each dial turns in the opposite direction to the dial before it. When you want to take a reading start with the left dial and write the number that is indicated by the pointer on each dial, if it’s between two numbers then just record the lower of the two.

Variable-Rate electricity meters:

This may include an Economy 7 or a White meter which allow you to see two displays showing you the readings for both day and night energy use. To view both day and night there’s a display marked ‘low’ which tracks off-peak electricity you’ve used and ‘normal’ which shows you the units of peak time when electricity being used.

How to read your gas meter:

All gas meters display a single four or five digit number indicating the number of gas units you’ve used.

Digital Metric meters:

This measure gas usage in cubic meters (m3) and usually show ‘M’ or ‘M3’. All you need to do is write down all the numbers before the decimal point (going from left to right).

Digital Imperial meters:

This is an older style of gas meter which can be measured in gas within cubic feet (ft3) – it will usually show the words ‘cubic feet’ or the letters ‘Ft’. Once again just read from left to right but only writing down the first 4 numbers.

Dial meters:

This type of gas meter shows a series of clock-style dials with numbers from zero to nine. By starting from the left dial and write down the number indicated by the pointer, moving towards the right – If the pointer is between two numbers, record the lower of the two.