How to read your electricity meter

Firstly, have you got a dial meter or a digital meter?

Dial meter instructions

image of a dial meter

  1. Always write down the number the pointer has passed (this is not necessarily the nearest number to the pointer). So if the pointer is anywhere between, say, 4 and 5, write down 4.
  2. If the pointer is directly over the figure, say 5, write down that figure and underline it. The sample meter reading shown will be 4 5 9 2 8.
  3. This reading now requires adjusting to eliminate small variations to the pointer positions. Look at the figures underlined. If one of these is followed by a 9, reduce the underlined figure by 1. The correct reading in this example is 44928.
  4. As with the digital meter, when you've worked out this reading, subtract the previous reading shown on your bill to find the number of electricity units used.

Digital meter instructions

image of a digital meter

There are two types of digital meter; single register and two register.

Single register digital meter

To read a single register digital meter, write down the numbers shown from left to right. Ignore the last figure marked 0.1. When you next read your meter subtract the previous reading from the new. This will give you the number of units used.

Digital meter with two registers

If you are on a tariff which gives you lower-priced off-peak electricity, your meter may have two rows of figures.

The top row records your use of off-peak electricity and is marked 'LOW'. To work out how many off-peak units you have used, subtract the previous 'LOW' reading from the new reading on the top row.

The bottom row records normal rate units and is marked 'NORMAL'. To calculate the consumption, take your last 'NORMAL' reading from the new reading on the bottom row.