How to take a meter reading

Your gas and electricity meters record how much energy you use. Your supplier will need to know this when creating your bill – if they don’t have this reading they will base your bill on an estimate, which could mean you pay for more energy than you’ve used.

You can give your energy supplier a reading by calling them or by submitting it online.

Electricity meters

Single rate digital electric meter

Single rate digital meter

  • A digital meter has an electronic or digital display. It will show 5 numbers in black or white, and it might be followed by numbers in red. When making your reading, ignore any numbers in red.
Two rate digital electric meter

Two rate digital meter

  • If you get electricity on two rates (cheaper at different times), you might have a two rate/dual rate meter. This means there will be 2 rows of numbers.
  • The top row of numbers will show how much energy you have used during the cheaper rate, and the bottom will show how much energy you’ve used during the standard rate.
  • Take readings from both the top and bottom rows, ignoring any numbers written in red.
Two rate single display elec meter

Two rate single display meter

  • Some meters only have 1 digital display. They will either flash your different rate readings or have a button that you will need to press to switch the display to your other rate reading.
  • Take readings from both displays.
Electric dial meter

Dial meter

  • A dial meter has 5 or more dials which turn to a number between 0 and 9.
  • To read the meter, you will need to read the first 5 dials from left to right and take down the number that the dial has just passed. Underline any numbers where the dial is exactly on the number.
  • If you’ve underlined any numbers, check the next dial to the right. If the pointer on that dial is between 9 and 0, reduce the number you’ve underlined by 1.

Gas meters

Digital metric gas meter

Digital metric meter

  • This meter will have an electronic or digital display showing 5 numbers and a decimal point, followed by more numbers.
  • To make the reading, write down the first 5 numbers from left to right – ignore the numbers after the decimal point.
Digital imperial gas meter

Digital imperial meter

  • This meter will have an electronic or digital display showing 4 black or white numbers, followed by 2 numbers in red.
  • To make the reading, take down the first 4 numbers from left to right, and ignore any shown in red.
Dial gas meter

Dial meter

  • A dial meter has 4 or more dials – each on turns to a number between 0 and 9.
  • To take the reading, reading the first 4 dials from left to right along the bottom row only, and write down the number closest to each pointer. If the pointer is between two numbers, give the lower number. If the pointer is below 0 and 9, take down 9.