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How To Read An Electric Meter

An electric meter is a device that measures the amount of electricity used in your property. The electricity meter box installed in your home will calculate the electric energy delivered for billing purposes. Recently, meters have been developed to allow cloud-connecting energy tracking.

Knowing how much electricity you’re using is important – and reading the electricity meter is quite straightforward – all you need to know is the type of meter you have and the numbers your electricity company need.

See how to read an electric meter here…

Find Your Meter Type

Your electricity energy meter will be a:

Single rate meter

This is a simple reading to take – read the first five numbers from left to right – the end number in red is not needed

Two rate meters

Both the top and the bottom meter readings are needed – the low is the night reading, and the normal is the day reading. Record the five numbers from left to right ignoring the end number in red.

Electrical meter for Electricity

Two rate single display meter

Often two rate meters have only one display showing the different rate readings side by side. You may need to press a button to make the display cycle through the readings. A reading indicates a total of the two readings which isn’t needed.

Dial meter

Your electricity dial meter may have between four and six dials that turn as the electricity passes through. The readout is given in kilowatt-hours –one kWh equals the amount of energy taken to power a 100w lightbulb for 10 hours.

This meter looks a little complicated but all you need to do is read the black dials from left to right, including any zeros. If the dial pointer is between two numbers then record the lower one. For example, if the needle is pointing between 0 and 1 write down 0.

Smart Electric Meters

A Smart meter will read your electricity used in kilowatt-hours, and your gas meter reading will be a number followed by m3. For manual readings use the information below:

If your Smart meter has a keypad, you’ll need to press 9 to see the reading. When you press 9 the following will display:

  • Electricity meter – IMP kWh – reading – kWh
  • Gas meter – Volume – reading – m3

If you have a two-rate meter to see your day and night readings you’ll need to press 6 to get them. The meter guidance may indicate low or L for night readings and N or normal for daytime ones.

After pressing 6 the display will show:

  • IMP R01 – followed by an eight-digit number
  • Press 6 again to view IMP R02 – followed by another eight-digit number

A green button labelled A on your Smart meter when pressed will show Total Act Import, followed by a meter reading and kWh. A two-rate meter will have a 01 and 02 reading found by pressing the A button.

A and B buttons on your Smart meter will display a meter reading. Pressing the A button will bring up Credit On – press this again to show Meter Index and once more to show your readings. The electricity reading will be followed by kWh, and the gas by m3.

To convert a gas meter reading to kWh you’ll need to do a calculation of dividing the gas measurement in joules by 3.6. You’ll find a conversion chart easily accessible online.

For a Smart meter without any buttons, the number beginning with R1 is your electricity reading.

White Electricity Meter

How Do Modern Smart Electric Meters Work?

Having a clever new Smart meter installed can allow your utility company to access your meter readings automatically. They communicate between your home and your energy supplier using a wireless network. You’ll be able to see how much electric energy you’re using and stop estimated bills.

You’ll be issued with a British Gas Smart meter instruction booklet – but basically there are three parts to the system – the Smart gas meter that records the gas you use continuously and updates your display every half hour. the Smart electricity meter updates every 10 seconds to give instant usage on your display. And the Smart energy display which shows your energy use in pounds and pence with daily, weekly, or monthly comparisons.

Your British Gas Smart meter manual will give you all the help and advice you need about no more manual meter readings!