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How To Read Your Meter And Submit A Meter Reading?

Understanding how to read your energy meter and submit your readings is an important aspect of effective energy management. Whether you have a standard gas meter with rotating dials or an electricity meter with multiple displays, taking regular meter readings allows you to monitor your usage and budget more effectively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of reading various types of meters. We’ll also provide you with valuable insights on why submitting your readings is important.

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How To Read Your Gas Or Electricity Meter?

When you’re taking a manual meter reading, it’s important to note that electricity and gas meters are read differently and may therefore have different displays. For this reason, learning how to read your gas or electricity meter correctly can help you to ensure that your readings are accurate.

Digital imperial meter

  1. Look for an electronic or digital display on your gas meter
  2. The gas meter display will show four numbers in black and white, followed by two numbers that are highlighted in red
  3. To get your reading, write down the numbers that are in black and white. This should be the first four numbers
  4. Ignore the numbers in red

Digital metric meter

  1. Find the electronic or digital display on your gas meter
  2. The gas meter display should have five numbers, followed by a decimal point. There will also be additional numbers after the decimal point
  3. Write down the first five numbers before the point from left to right
  4. Ignore the numbers after the decimal point

Gas dial meter

  1. Usually, gas dial meters have at least four dials. Find these dials and check which ones rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise for a more accurate reading
  2. Read the first four numbers from left to right on your gas dial meter, ignoring any large or red dials
  3. If the pointer is between two numbers, use the lower number as your reading

Single-rate digital meter

  1. Find the display on your electricity meter
  2. The display should show five black-and-white numbers, potentially followed by one or more red numbers
  3. To take these readings, write down the numbers in black and white. This should be the first five numbers
  4. Be sure to ignore any red numbers on your electricity meter

Two-rate digital meter

A two-rate or dual-rate digital electricity meter has two rows of numbers. You may have this meter if you are eligible for cheaper electricity at certain times. Typically, the top row of numbers represents the cheaper electricity you have used, while the bottom row shows how many units of standard electricity your home has consumed.

You can read these electricity meters by following these steps:

  1. Read the numbers on the top row of your electricity meter from left to right, writing down the number in black and white
  2. Read the numbers on the bottom row from left to right and jot down the numbers shown in black and white
  3. Ignore any numbers that are displayed in red

Two-rate single display meter

Certain two-rate meters have a single digital display that alternates between rate readings. This display may flash between the two readings in a cycle. In some cases, the display won’t flash and you will need to cycle through them using the button on your electricity meter.

You can take these readings by following these steps:

  1. Look for a label on the electricity meter that specifies which rate is ‘low’ or ‘night’ and which one is ‘high’ or ‘normal’. If you’re unsure, you can always make a note of the meter reading in the morning and check your meter later in the day. The altered reading will represent the normal rate
  2. Record the numbers from left to right for each rate
  3. Be sure to make a note of which meter reading is ‘low’ and which is ‘high’
  4. There may be other numbers that display after the second reading. You can ignore these numbers and only record the regular readings

Electricity dial meter

Electricity dial meters work similarly to those for gas. However, they usually have five or more dials that you will need to look at to get your meter reading. You can take these readings from these meters by using the following steps:

  1. Locate and read the values from each of the five dials
  2. Ignore any red dials or those marked with other numbers on the dial meter. The five dials you need should range between zero and nine
  3. Remember to take note of which ways the dials rotate. Some may rotate counterclockwise, so be careful to take accurate readings
  4. If the dial meter pointer is between two numbers, be sure to write down the lower number
  5. If the pointer directly aligns with a number, underline it. When you write a value between zero and nine next to an underlined number, reduce the number by one. For example, if you have the number seven next to an underlined number, change the value to six

What To Do If You Have A Smart Meter?

If you have a smart gas or electricity meter installed in your home, reading and submitting meter readings is a much simpler process:

  1. Smart meters usually have multiple screens or menus that display different kinds of information. Find the screen that shows your current readings for gas or electricity. It may be labelled as ‘Current usage’ or ‘Meter reading’
  2. The smart meter’s display will show your energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) for electricity and cubic metres (m³) for gas. Be sure to check the display and write down the numbers. Some smart meters may also have buttons that allow you to scroll through different screens and find the correct reading
  3. If you have a smart meter that provides additional information such as off-peak or peak electricity readings, be sure to jot down this information as well. This may be important if you have a tariff that requires multiple readings

It’s important to remember that smart meters send off your readings automatically to your energy supplier. However, it’s still a good practice to submit your readings manually as well to avoid inaccuracies and avoid billing discrepancies.

One of the benefits of having a smart meter is the ability to track your energy consumption in real time. You can then use this information to save energy and reduce your costs. Of course, you can also cut costs when you compare utility prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

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When you submit meter readings, you can ensure that your energy bills accurately reflect your actual usage. In turn, this may help to prevent any disagreements with your energy supplier.

By providing the correct readings from your gas and electricity meters, you can also budget more effectively and make informed decisions about your energy usage. Additionally, it allows you to compare energy prices and choose the one that suits your needs. You may also want to consult with energy brokers to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the market.

Design Elements

What Kind Of Meter Do I Have?

You can start by examining your meter for mechanical dials or digital displays. If it has a dial, it’s likely a standard meter. But if it has a digital screen instead, you probably have a smart meter.

You can also do a visual inspection around the meter itself. If there are no wireless modules or sim cards, your home may be fitted with a standard meter. Of course, if you have an in-home display that shows your energy consumption in real time, this newer technology is indicative of a smart meter.

If you’re still unsure of what gas and electricity meters are installed in your home, you may want to consult with your energy supplier.

What Happens If Your Meter Reading Is Not Submitted?

If you don’t submit your readings from your electricity and gas meters, your energy supplier will estimate your energy usage. Generally, they will do this based on historical data or industry averages, which can lead to inaccurate bills and over or underpayment for your energy.

Estimated bills usually don’t reflect your actual energy consumption, and discrepancies can potentially lead to billing disputes with your supplier.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What units are gas and electricity meters read in the UK?

Gas meters reflect values in cubic meters or m3. Electricity meters show your electricity usage as kilowatt hours or kWh.

What is the most common type of meter in the UK?

Credit meters are the most common type of gas and electricity meter in the UK. These feature dials to indicate your usage. You can read these meters by looking at the numbers from left to right, ignoring any red digits.